Thursday, June 9, 2016
In his new album released last month Bob Dylan returns to his roots, covering classic American tunes.
Dylan’s 37th studio album Fallen Angels covers classic American songs like “It had to be you,” and “Young at Heart.” The new album is a follow up to his 2015 cover album Strangers in the Night. Most notably known for Dylan’s interpretation of “That Lucky old Sun,” which in my opinion has as much power and feeling in it as Ray Charles’ approach to the song.
As Dylan could be considered the greatest living lyricist, it’s understandable that some Dylan fans are upset to see the release of two consecutive cover albums.
I’ll agree it would be great to hear some original songs from a man whose lyrics helped shape the
culture of multiple generations, but listening to the new album I think Dylan fans can appreciate what to me sounds like the raspy reflections of an old musician who began his career bumming around New York City singing covers.
Fallen Angels has a very mellow sound, the kind of album one might put on after a long day’s work and enjoy with a glass of wine. Most of the songs on the album are covers of songs performed traditionally by big band musicians.
Comparing Dylan’s style on the album to other musicians I would say it sounds like Louis Armstrong and Frank Sinatra met in a dive bar and did a quick set with the house band. Now, don’t get over excited. Dylan’s album is by no means as epic as Sinatra and Armstrong singing together in a dive bar would be, but their combined sound with support from a small band would sound similar to Dylan’s new album.
As far as Bob Dylan albums go Fallen Angels is no Blood on the Tracks, but it was never meant to be. For what it is, it’s a really good album that in many ways shows the early influences of a music legend.