Shadows in the Night (2015)


 
Track Listing 1. I'm a Fool To Want You 2. The Night We Called it a Day 3. Stay With Me 4. Autumn Leaves 5. Why Try To Change Me Now 6. Some Enchanted Evening 7. Full Moon and Empty Arms 8. Where Are You? 9. What'll I Do 10.That Lucky Old Sun

 

It seems like I start off a lot of my Bob Dylan reviews by stating something such as “Nothing that Bob Dylan ever does should really surprise anyone…..”, and I’ll go on to describe his latest release as being somewhat “unexpected”. Well, this one isn’t any different. For whatever reason, Dylan is paying his respects to the old easy listening crooners that seemed to dominate the radio airwaves about a decade before Dylan came onto the scene in the early 1960s. This is a bit strange since this type of music never influenced any of Dylan’s substantial work. So why is doing something like this now? Is it because he’s well into his seventies? Is it because he’s always loved such work and never really acknowledged it? Who knows.

Truth be told, he does a very good job. He seems to focus on polishing his gravelly voice as best he can. Let’s just say he’ll never rival a Frank Sinatra in this department. Although he does a good job, I confess that I don’t really find this work very interesting. It’s not that Dylan doesn’t do the work justice, it’s just that the product doesn’t interest me that much. I doubt I would enjoy these songs had anyone covered them (and I haven’t mentioned yet, this is, in fact, a “covers” album).

Being that Dylan still sounds like his old self, even with him trying to conceal his raspy voice, these songs probably sound best when one really focuses and listens to these songs. All of the lyrics are of the “heartbroken” variety. This is the perfect type of music to listen to when your love life is in shambles, and you stumble into a smoky bar at 1 a.m., huddled over a cigarette and two or three neat scotches. Unless you find yourself in such a situation, I find it a bit hard to really enjoy this record as it was probably meant to be. The songs all sound a bit too much the same. Even with steel guitars and horn sections gracing the tracks ever so slightly, it’s just not a record that I enjoy for repeated listens.

It's hard for me to imagine the folk and hippy audiences that grew up with him in the 1960s really find much to like here either. Even if their all in their seventies as well.

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