Friday, April 4, 2008

CD Review: Blonde on Blonde

Why on Earth has Bob Dylan been "a major figure in popular music for five decades?" Have you HEARD him sing? Hell, calling it singing is a stretch. Usually, at least on this album, it sounds like he's just TALKING.
People don't watch adult films for the plot. So don't listen to Bob Dylan if great singing is what you want. Download some Clay Aiken instead.
Bob doesn't have the voice, but that's OK, because he has the SONGS. I'm listening to "Obviously 5 Believers" for the fourth time at the moment. Bob and The Band, or at least four-fifths of it, channel their inner bluesmen on this track, sounding like Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, and their ensembles.
And "Obviously 5 Believers" is far from the best track on the album, but only because the others are so incredibly constructed and executed. Take "Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands" for example. Most lyrics are comprised of rhyming couplets. Not Bob's. The rhyme scheme of this poem is AAABCCCBDEEFF.
And somehow, Bob turns these exquisite poems into equally sophisticated songs. Listen to Blonde on Blonde, and hear the master at work. Then, listen to it again.
****1/2 out of five

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