Thursday, December 17, 2009

Maybe I Don't Get It...

I should start off by stating, I'm a fairly modest Bob Dylan fan, I've seen him in concert twice, I have about a dozen of his albums and I consider him one of the most influential and important songwriters in the past half century, but I should also mention these albums are all from the sixties and seventies and I last saw him live over ten years ago. He is a multiple Grammy award winner, a member of the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame and he is critically acclaimed and respected the world over, so why, oh why, did he record and release a Christmas album? He couldn't be hard up for cash, nor does he seem like the type that gets giddy and excited like a little kid during Christmas and why would his record label want to highlight the declining state of his voice to the point of exposing his lack of singing range, as he's straining to hit notes and why would they release such bizarre renditions of these classic Christmas songs, has me baffled. Is Christmas In The Heart a joke? It's probably the most hilarious thing I've listened to this year, but for all the wrong reasons. His voice is so inappropriate compared to the slick arrangements, music and background vocals, the gruffness in his voice makes him sound like a creepy drunken uncle that's had just a bit too much rum in his eggnog. The songs are disjointed and inconsistent and more like a parody of an old guy singing bad Christmas karaoke that makes everyone listening, feel a little bit better about themselves.

The concept of a Bob Dylan Christmas cover album could be considered a clever marketing ploy (cashing in on the fact musicians don't record as many Christmas albums as they used to) that showcases the side of Bob we never expected, as we know Dylan (similarly Neil Young) likes to pull a complete 360 in style and concept every once in a while, sometimes with good results, sometimes really bad! Albums such as Self Portrait, Saved and Down In the Groove are perfect examples and it proved that Dylan wasn't a complete genius and he was prone to self-indulgence and unaware he was releasing bad records. I'm sure Bob had good intentions when he recorded Christmas In The Heart (some proceeds go to charity), and perhaps it was all done tongue-in-cheek, but why? Maybe I don't it, am I missing something here, is this really a genius at work giving back to his fans, a joyfully merry Christmas present, or has Dylan lost it...again?
You decide, have a listen and let me know what you think.
BD Christmas. rar

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