Monday, July 31, 2006

Bob Dylan - Highway 61 Revisited

I love Bob Dylan's music for the lyrics. I believe I mentioned awhile ago how I'm always on the lookout for songs that use new or obscure words: well Ballad of a Thin Man is the only song I've ever head to invoke the names of both Cecil B. DeMille and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Classy.

I have to admit, I don't always get the imagery, and there's a lot of it to get. But worst case, suppose Dylan doesn't mean anything by it, suppose he's just stringing rhymes together. He's doing a damned fine job of it. Although I never really realized what a misogynistic bastard he is.

Like a Rolling Stone was actually the only song on this album I'd heard before. I thought I was pretty fluent with Dylan's stuff, but I guess I'm more familiar with his newer songs. None of these songs are particularly radio-friendly, clocking in between 5 and 9 minutes. That might explain why I haven't heard so many of them before. Ballad of a Thin Man was probably the best song on the album for me: it's got all the discontent of The Times, They Are a-Changing, expressed more eloquently.

Overall, a great album. My only beef with it is that Bob Dylan's voice is so... well, a complimentary word is "distinctive"... that I can't really take a full album of it. But if that's the tradeoff for some of the best lyrics I've ever heard, so be it. 4 molluscs / 5 cephalopods.


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