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the pioneer of Dylan Studies; writer, public speaker, critic; became a Doctor of Letters in 2015 (awarded by the University of York, UK)

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

CHRISTMAS IN THE HEART TRACK TEASERS is letting people hear little bits of all 15 tracks from the new album here. Do you really want to listen to a Christmas album in the middle of September? I've listened. So will you. I think it's horrid. You may not. You may think that because it's Bob it's wonderful, despite it sounding like a 1950s Ray Connif Singers pastiche fitfully overlaid with a Dylan who couldn't care less how he sings. As if instead of lifting other people's words, as with Chronicles, he's now found a singalong double-album from fifty years ago and thrown a vocal track on top of it. I didn't want to feel this way, but really: he could have sung better than this. Indeed I think he always has.

But talking of snowy scenes and wintry themes, can I say that there are still a few places available for our Winterlude Weekends. You could even come and argue the merits of Christmas in the Heart... Book now!


Anonymous Carl Finlay said...

good god this is terrible. Makes his cover of This old man sound amazing!actually no that was brutal too!The idea of Bob doing a christmas album sounds like a joke and the reality isnt even funny.At least its for charity but he could have just written a cheque.
With regard to his voice i think it has been absolutley terrible for a few years now.I think the never ending tour has taken its tole.If you look back at his shows in 2000 his voice was great, he was so engaged and inspired, same goes for Time out of mind and Love and Theft.Whereas now even if he was engaged and inspired it would be hard to tell because he sounds so awful.He has obviously made a pact with himself to keep on touring until he drops dead, but surely taking a long break and mending whats left of his maimed vocals would be a wiser decission,for his health and his art.He might even start writing good songs again!
I have stood by Dylan all the way through this never ending tour, defending him from naysayers but I cant defend his recent live performances and this christmas album is beyond all redemption.Worse than Empire Burlesque,Knocked out loaded or Down in the groove .
Please Bob stop the never ending madness!
I have been with

3:43 pm  
Blogger Jack said...

I have always loathed Christmas songs; but hearing Bob Dylan sing them with his broken voice, makes me laugh & feel warm.The first time such songs have given me any pleasure.Yes, it IS because he is singing, with the deep personal resonance that has for me, from a lifetime of being moved,inspired & sustained at difficult times by his recordings.

4:10 pm  
Blogger psteve said...

I think it's pretty terrific. These 30-second samples are just right. Unfortunately, the songs on the album won't be only 30 seconds long, and that will be a very very different listening experience.

4:56 pm  
Anonymous AVS said...

I literally laughed out loud (and in a good way).

1:37 am  
Blogger Yvonne aka Country Gardener said...

Would love to come to a Winterlude weekend, but alas, it's a heck of a long way from Ontario...

As for the Christmas album, I'm curious to know how it came about. My theory - I'll bet he says to himself, "Whatever I haven't done in my life that might be a gas, I'm gonna do it now."

I'm with Jack. I had a similar response, even though I ban Christmas pop music around the house, and loath how it takes over December and the latter half of November. Can't go into the grocery store without being assaulted by horrid treacle. (Usually Dylan is a nice antidote to that.)

4:13 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You had best be careful Ebenezer er...Michael or you'll be getting a visit from three ghosts, and the last one will have a pencil thin mustache. Pat Ford

7:25 am  
Anonymous Bev. said...

I'm resisting listening to this if I can... but the album art hardly inspires confidence. Yurgh.

10:33 am  
Blogger Wyn said...

His magnificent voice of younger years has gradually gone the way of time, as all our voices do with age. Take that into account with smoking one's entire life and that takes it too. I will always see him as young, with that remarkable voice and the talent he had/has to make him famous. There will never be another like him.
Even as a loyal fan though, I won't buy "Christmas in the Heart". Sorry, Bobby needs to take a break.

6:02 pm  
Blogger Michael Gray said...

Yvonne - it's only a day away from Ontario... and in Canada that must surely sound quite neighbourly.

12:10 pm  
Anonymous Kieran said...

Come on! It's a Christmas album and it has the choirs, the sleighbells and the Christmas Moose in Adeste Fidelus: "venite adore-MOOSE, Daw-aw-minum!"

I can see myself scurrying through the snow, trying to buy my last gifts on Christmas Eve, and Bob singing "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas", like Louis Armstrong with a head cold.

Can't wait for this album - it's gonna be goodhearted fun - and it's gonna help a lot of people!

5:22 pm  
Blogger Ross said...

I think his chances of getting the Nobel have suddenly dimmed.

8:41 pm  
Blogger platypusrex256 said...

potentially worst dylan album ever?

you can laugh but i actually like self portrait =)

7:44 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Really awful. By anyone but him, it would be an embarrassment, but I can see the reviews being similar to those for the Roundhouse Show. It's sh*t, but it is Dylan and he was singing those songs, so it's got to be good, right?


I'm not a fan of Christmas albums at all, but at least Brian Wilson's and James Taylor's were just bad ideas. This is a bad idea badly executed.

Still, at least it's not full of sub-Clapton blues mixed with sub-Crosby crooning.

8:46 am  

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