Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Five Best...Bob Dylan Albums (#4)

4. Bringing It All Back Home

With four acoustic albums under his belt (Bob Dylan, Freewheelin’, Times They Are A-Changin’ and Another Side), Dylan was looking to break out of the mold that he had been cast in. And with the blast of an electric and acoustic guitar that would become the trademark of the ‘folk-rock’ movement on “Subterranean Homesick Blues,” Dylan has never—excuse the pun—looked back. Yet, the irony of the album is that its finest songs are actually on the acoustic half, with “Mr. Tambourine Man,” “Gates of Eden,” “It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)” and “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue.” Each of those has become a classic and contain many “Dylan-isms”:

-“In the jingle jangle morning, I’ll come following you.”

-“All and all can only fall/ With a crashing but meaningless blow.”

-“At times I think there are no words/ But these to tell what's true.”

-“That he not busy being born is busy dying.”

-“While others say don’t hate nothing at all except hatred.”

-“But even the president of the United States sometimes must have to stand naked.”

-“The highway is for gamblers, better use your sense. Take what you have gathered from coincidence.”

But that’s not to say the rock side isn’t good; on the contrary, there’s some great songs on it, including “Love Minus Zero/No Limit” and one of his funniest songs, “Bob Dylan’s 115th Dream.” It’s just tracks like “On the Road Again,” “Outlaw Blues” and “Maggie’s Farm” sound rather dated and would be pale in comparison to the next two rock albums Dylan will release.

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