Weirdest Album of the Year

Among the myriad things that Charlie doesn’t like are (in general) Bob Dylan’s music and discussing anything related to Christmas until we’ve had Guy Fawkes night (and preferably not until we’ve opened our advent calendars). But the new album released by Bob Dylan seems so bizarre that it’s worth a mention at the end of October. The reviewer in The Independent referred to it as “a… musical atrocity committed in the names of Christmas and charity;” and “downright weird”. I heard something from it on the radio and it sounded a complete joke — like someone doing their worst impression of Bob Dylan’s appalling singing voice and setting it to the most unlikely material — such as ‘O Come All Ye Faithful’. I read another review in Time magazine that said it should be viewed in the context of Dylan paying homage to what most Americans of his age regarded as vernacular folk music — the easy listening crooners of the 40s and 50s, such as Bing Crosby and early 60s. It’s also possible that some of the stick the album is getting is from the miltant Dawkins types — one wonders whether Dylan would have been treated with reverence had he sung songs based on another religious tradition. Whatever, I might buy it for the novelty value and to enjoy inflicting it on over-jolly people over the festive period.

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