Simon penned the ballads for So Beautiful Or So What
before working on the more up tempo songs. He explained why in an interview with Spinner
: "'Amulet,' 'Love and Hard Times' and 'Questions for the Angels' were the first three songs written. Maybe that's part of its strength - that I spent a lot of time on the ballads. I was interested in beginning from another premise than rhythm. When you start with the rhythm, if you get a really good groove going, you're perfectly happy to play one chord or just a few chords and just repeat it, like on 'Christmas Day
' or 'The Afterlife' or 'So Beautiful Or So What
.' That's just the same pattern repeated, but they had good grooves and you don't need to get into a lot of changes on rhythm."