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Video Review: Harper Simon-“Berkeley Girl” by jason
September 1, 2010, 4:28 pm
Filed under: Review | Tags: ,

I am conflicted about Harper Simon’s new single, “Berkeley Girl.” On one hand, my gut instinct is to dislike it.It’s a little too “hippie,” what with lyrics like “She is juniper and roses; she is amethyst and pearl.” It sounds like it came right off of am radio, circa 1968. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s a little too on the nose.

Also, the Harper sounds almost exactly like his father, Paul Simon. This is something that bugs me because that sound, along with the fact that so early in his career, he is able to collaborate with producer Bob Johnston, who produced work by Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan, makes me think that Harper Simon is riding his father’s coattails into the music scene.

On the other hand, “Berkeley Girl” is a very pretty song, and the accompanying video, featuring Jena Malone, is gorgeous and melancholy, like a Wes Anderson film. And if Harper does sound eerily like his father, well, there are far worse people to sound like.

Overall, after searching for more of Simon’s stuff online, I’d pick up his self-titled album. The good outweighs the bad, and while this work may be derivative, it’s derivative of stuff I like.

Harper Simon’s album, Harper Simon, was released on PIAS records. The new single, “Berkeley Girl,” drops on September 13th.

-jason

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