OUTSTANDING ALBUM!! A+++ I put this album in the stereo the very evening I got home and received it--I couldn't wait to hear it--but basically I was just curious (I didn't listen to the samples before I got it). But the surprise I got was something like the following metaphoric comparison: I was prepared to get a ride in a car and see new scenery on the next street, but instead I got into a supersonic jet and took off in a very rapid and steep ascent!!!! WHEEE!! Up and away--WHAT A THRILL!!! Oh my God!!! What an album!! I had to grab tissues to wipe my moist eyes I was so moved and happy! An almost 50 year old Bob Dylan executes an over the top super performance in this exceptionally rich and sophisticated mood evoking album--his voice is perfect. Right away in Political World during the first stanza and during the crescendo, you can hear that he sings it to PERFECTION--going softly or delicately on some words and even his signature hillbilly twang that he invented long ago is evident on some words he sings that make this song among others a symphony of sound. And listen to the AWESOME LYRICS to Political World!
The tune itself to Political World is not complicated, but the arrangement, the lyrics and the way Bob sings it makes it complex and sophisticated--very much so. The arrangements are so very sophisticated in the other songs AS WELL. Everything is Broken is super (available in The Essential Bob Dylan). Man in the Long Black Coat is drop-to-my-knees-I-surrender F A B U L O U S with Bob's deep voice in this one--it is a richly mysterious, somewhat meloncholic song, the "heart stopping" What Was It You Wanted has a VERY STIRRING DYLAN HARMONICA and guitar, Ring Them Bells is very deep. This man is so unbelievably talented, I can't get over it!!! THIS ALBUM IS A MUST BUY!!! So many times before I've said: "Bob, you are TOO good!!!!" This is another album I was saying the same thing!!!--over and over and over. The lyrics to the songs in this album are very good. Altogether between the sound, the tunes, the arrangements, the lyrics and the way Bob sings them, most of these songs are absolutely over the top outstanding!! Okay, you may always find some song that you just don't care for on any one album--that's almost a given, but I can't get over the quality of this album, and I can't wait to go home in the evening or wait till the weekend to play my favorites over and over again. I will never get tired of this album.
These songs are powerful, richly complex and VERY sophisticated starting with the super "Political World." I thought I had heard all Bob's best by now and I was absolutely amazed to hear all these superb songs. I can't tell you how enthusiastic I am with this album. Hey, my excuse for not having this album before is that I got stuck in Europe for much of the time after graduating (my choice), and I got tangled up with the locals, but if you were here all the time and knew Bob Dylan from the 60's, you surely have missed out on a real treasure of an album! He's come a long way baby!!!
PS: Hot Note: After doing this review, I opened The Rough Guide to Bob Dylan that I have at home and in the section right before "Not Dark Yet" they mentioned that "Man in the Long Black Coat" was WRITTEN IN THE STUDIO AND EXECUTED all in ONE take. Another book said he wrote it "QUICKLY" right in the studio. I find that absolutely remarkable to say the least--absolutely mind blowing! Also listen carefully to "Most of the Time" because the music in the background is super.
B O O M!!!!!