Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Pop Music Review

Past Glories Unable to Lift Garfunkel's Current Effort

May 10, 1999|DON HECKMAN

Nearly three decades after his salad days as half of one of the most celebrated duos in pop music history, Art Garfunkel is still relying heavily on the classic Simon & Garfunkel songs of the late '60s and early '70s.

In his Friday concert with the Pacific Symphony Orchestra Pops at Segerstrom Hall in the Orange County Performing Arts Center, Garfunkel occasionally moved in other directions, via a Randy Newman tune and a couple of numbers by Jimmy Webb. But the substance of his performance came directly from Simon & Garfunkel: "Homeward Bound," "The Sounds of Silence," "Cecilia," "El Condor Pasa," "Scarborough Fair," "Mrs. Robinson" and, of course, Garfunkel's trademark solo number, "Bridge Over Troubled Water."

But there were problems. First, and most important, the harmony parts were all missing. A classic duet sound had become a solo melody line. As a result, almost every number had a kind of emptiness, as though an extremely important track had been left out of the final mix.

Nor was Garfunkel abetted by his awkwardness. Never seeming to know quite what to do with his hands, stalking from one side of the stage to the other without much purpose, often closing his eyes and tilting his head skyward as he sang, he seemed out of touch with both the music and his listeners. Depending almost solely on his appealing, choirboy sound, he was a performer who appeared--without the communicative presence of Simon--to either not understand or not particularly care about the messages implicit in the songs he was singing.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|