Bob Dylan – Shadows In The Dark

It’s been a while since I reviewed an album and I have listened to many since the last review. It’s been a little while since Dylan released a new album, three years in fact if we exclude the Basement Tapes. So maybe the time is ripe to start reviewing again.

Bob Dylan has written some great songs, he’s even sounded OK singing the odd one. I am not a great fan of his singing, it suits some records but on the whole I think they are few and far between. However, a new album is of interest, maybe another classic waiting to take the world by storm.

This is a new album, but it is never going to take anything by storm. All of the tracks on this album are covers, covers of Frank Sinatra songs which apparently were chosen for this album by Dylan himself. There are ten tracks, some I recognise but most I don’t, I think if you had to name 10 Sinatra tracks you might name one maybe two of these, but you’d probably be a Sinatra fan. Noteworthy they are not.

But that’s just part of the problem. The biggest failing on this album is the singing of Dylan. Barely known tracks would work if sung with passion and verve like Sinatra, but these are not. These 10 songs have been transformed into 10 dirges, not one is sung with anything like mild enthusiasm. I haven’t heard a more depressing album in quite a while. Not knowing the songs didn’t help as I didn’t know what the potential of these songs could be, but if Sinatra sung them then they must have something. What a pity that Bob Dylan chose to ignore that something.

I listened to all the tracks in the hope that just one would rise above the direness, not one did. I don’t really see what the point of this album is, all the songs are covers, performed dreadfully. I shan’t be playing any of this album on my radio show. The patients deserve much better than this poor fare.

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