Dylan and The Dead (1988)


 
1. Slow Train 2. I Want You 3. Gotta Serve Somebody 4. Queen Jane Approximately 5. Joey 6. All Along the Watchtower 7. Knockin' on Heaven's Door

 

I should point out that I've never been a fan of the Grateful Dead. I don't dislike them, I've just never taken the time to give their music a chance. Maybe one day. Because of this, my review of this album is a bit skewed. An album such as this, with two superstar artists, probably should be reviewed on what they both should contribute to the record and how well they succeed. So if I were a fan, I might be inclined to listen to this record a bit differently. Since I'm not, I don't know if I would like the record any more or any less. I'm guessing less, which is a bit sad since I really don't like this album that much to begin with anyway.

For starters, this album doesn't sound like a lot of care really went into it. When you start off listening to the first track, Slow Train, you feel like you're starting to watch a television show that's half over - no excitement, no grand introduction, just Dylan and the boys starting to play a song in less than spectacular fashion. The whole album is actually "less than spectacular". Dylan has always made a point, whether intentionally or not, to make his live shows somewhat unique, and many times, different. Here, where it should sound different (with a famous band), it sounds monotonously the same. The only song that sounds minutely Grateful Dead influenced is the track I Want You, which doesn't justify a whole album.

He includes some of his longer pieces here, and even his shorter ones are played a bit more extended, so the entire album only features seven songs. It's the proper length of an album, but you can't help to want a bit more. Or maybe, after listening to this snoozer, not wanting to hear any more at all.

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