Monday, July 19, 2010

Bob Dylan - Blood on the Tracks


Of the Dylan albums I own, this is by far the one I connect with most. The rest leave me wondering what was so great about him, but this is the bees knees, the real deal. Now, I'm not saying that I've been on the backend of a bad marriage, so I can't really connect with it, but just the fact that it is extremely personal adds a touch to Dylan's music that is needed for his otherwise bland brand of music (sorry Dylan fanatics).

Right away with "Tangled Up in Blue" Dylan is in top form with confident, free-flowing lyrics and almost jangly guitars, not to mention his classic harmonica. Everything I love about Dylan is wrapped up all in this one song.

At times Dylan displays a mournful feeling that only life experiences can generate. Just listen to the harmonica on "You're a Big Girl Now" - talk about soul being poured into an instrument.

Honestly, if the rest of the album carried through with the same strength as the first three tracks, it'd be a no-brainer 5 star album to me.

Where things fall a little flat is where Dylan gets a little overbearing, such as in "Idiot Wind." These were his emotions at the time, so it's not fair for me to say he shouldn't have put them on display, but it grows tiresome, especially with repeated listens.

And I can only listen to "Lily, Rosemary, and the Jack of Hearts" so many times. This is the type of track that usually turns me away from Dylan - basically poetry or storytelling with a basic, vamping blues melody backing him up.

The last three tracks are good, not great tracks. It's as if the initial momentum and emotional charge from the beginning of the album have subsided, and we're left with a more plaintive Dylan. It leaves the album on a good enough note to wet your appetite for the next time you feel like some Dylan.

No comments:

Post a Comment