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ALBUM – I’m Not There OST

ARTIST – Various

YEAR – 2007

This may seem (even be) heretical; a mistake, some will say.  Nevertheless, my attempt at being bold.  The subject matter is fragile, sensitive, controversial and basically undefinable.  Bob Dylan is a bigger-than-life artist and musician; he will be so for who know how long.  A creature blessed, a misfit?  Regardless, talking, or, in this case, writing about him, will surely stir up some more debate.  More so because I’m not commenting on HIS album, but something put together by different artists interpreting HIS music for a movie about HIM.

Baby steps, baby steps.  Nice and gentle.  Maybe this way I’m able to reduce contempt for me and this blog.  But I must say – or write – that this album has stuck with me ever since I saw the movie, back in December 2007.  I soon after acquired the album and have been regularly listening to it.  Of course, Bob Dylan himself is better able to play his own music (more on that in a later post) than the artists compiled here, but the album nonetheless is surprisingly good.  I’m guessing the reason for that is the line-up of artists also bow to Bob; that is, they most definitely praise and were more than honoured to perform his material.  I mean, how many people do you know, who have actually listened to Bob Dylan, that dislike his work?

So, once again, I’ll let the music speak for itself.  I also reckoned this to be a way – one of subtlety – for those not familiar with Dylan to get to know him.  After listening to this, maybe, who knows, people will seek out his albums and “get into” his music and lyrics.  Mind you, his writing is magnificent, beyond words.  Listen carefully to his poetry-like skills.  Some of it makes sense, some doesn’t seem to, then, later on, it does, and that which did somehow does not anymore.  His music is tantalising and wonderful.  Don’t make it a point, though, to “get” what he’s preaching.  Sometimes, I think, it’s just Dylan being Dylan; like as if he’s playing tricks.  It’s not supposed to be “got”.  Still, I regret not having gotten to know him earlier in my life.  Better late than never, eh?!

Some of the tracks – or, to be more accurate, some of the interpretations – on this album really stick out.  It’s funny because a few of the songs here hadn’t caught my attention the way they did after I listened to some of these renditions.  First and foremost, the wicked, wicked song “All Along the Watchtower” (this doesn’t actually require me to write anything) is belched out by Eddie Vedder (Pearl Jam’s front-man and vocalist).  The now with teeth, without teeth at Woodstock, Richie Havens carries out gracefully one of my personal favourites, “Tombstone Blues”.  Attention to Yo La Tengo’s “Fourth Time Around” – beautifully executed.  Former Pavement front man Stephen Malkmus delivers a powerful, yet subtle, “Ballad of a Thin Man”.  That is followed by a contemporary artist I’m quite fond of, with her raspy, husky, coarse and sensual voice; probably one of the best tracks.  It’s Cat Power. And yeah, she is pretty hot.  I love “The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carol”; here it’s done by Mason Jennings, good job.  Who here has seen the movie ONCE?  It’s a beautiful romantic comedy, majestically acted and with sweet ballads all perfomed by the lead actors.  Well, here they are on this recording, with a grand, grand song “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere”, by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová.  So, check it out, will ‘ya…




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