everything you ever wanted to know about nothing at all...

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Some people they tell me I got the blood of the land in my voice...

There's nothing like getting an anticipated brand new album the day of it's release. I still get as excited about it as I did when I was thirteen years old. There's no longer 30 seconds then the 30 seconds it takes to get the wrapping off a cd, but the payoff is well worth it. To slap the cd into the player & search through the liner notes for clues that might decode the magic that the cd might hold. Who does the artist thank? Are lyrics included? What kind of pictures are on the inside?

I got home to an empty house with Bob Dylan's Beyond Here Lies Nothing sitting on the counter. Maybe this is why Christie spent the afternoon with her mother. Anyways, I didn't feel guilty about popping this into the cd player & turning it up nice & loud. There's good news & bad news regarding this album. The bad news is that to my ears I don't hear any great songs. Modern Times had Ain't Talkin', Love & Theft had Mississippi. The good news is that I look forward to listening to the album as a whole, not just certain tracks. There's both a cohesiveness & a diversity to these songs that hold it together.

The album challenges your perceptions, the opening track Beyond Here Lies Nothing sounds quite bleak but actually celebrates love in the moment, even if that love will someday betray you or leave you all alone. The closing track, It's All Good, takes that annoying cliche & proves it to be false every time, no matter how many times you tell yourself that it's all good. Life is Hard is Bob Dylan trying to sing as if he has to prove that he can hit the high notes & in his straining comes up with quite an effective performance. My Wife's Home Town copies the melody of the blues standard I Just Wanna Make Love to You & is downright annoying. If You Ever Go to Houston swings easily with charming lyrics wrapped in myth & tall tales. I haven't made my mind up about Forgetful Heart yet, I like the singing & the tempo. Jolene has a terrible guitar riff that is just as bad as the lyrics from the refrain "i'll be your king & you can be my queen".

This Dream of You is the first time I realized that this album doesn't sound anything like it's predecessors. Maybe it's Mike Campbell's guitar or David Hidalgo's (Los Lobos) accordion. I either love or hate Shake Shake Mama, I haven't quite figured it out yet. When I found out that there was a song called I Feel a Change Comin' On I cringed, fearing a "we have a new president & it's a new day" kind of song, but it's actually quite good. It's got a '70s pop song kind of feel to it. This is probably the most palatable to the average listener.

There we have it, friends. This album won't go up there with the great Dylan albums of all time, but it sure makes for a fun listen & a definate difference from the last two albums. If I had to rate it, I'd give it a 7. Give it a spin & see what you think.

I Feel a Change Comin' On

Beyond Here Lies Nothing

Life is Hard (the picture depicts Christie when she's listening to this album)

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

If You Ever Go to Houston-Bob Dylan, Beyond Here Lies Nothing

So What-Miles Davis, Kind of Blue

Sec Walkin-My Morning Jacket, Evil Urges

Life is Hard-Bob Dylan, Beyond Here Lies Nothing

Sway-Alejandro Escovedo

Happy Tuesday, friends...



Pam said...

I know I don't have your eloquence or passion for his music ....but I have to admit Bob Dylan is growing on me.

Dan Van said...

The most annoying thing about Shake Shake Mama is what it will do to the fans at the shows….oi vai

Joyce said...

So that's how you spell oi vai. Thanks for the review, there is none I trust more.

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Grand Haven, Michigan
the sun shines on a dog's ass every now & then...