Monday, January 24, 2005

American Icon

Mostly, when people hear the name Bob Dylan, they think of a popular figure 30 years ago who wrote protest songs and had a weird singing voice. A lot of people don't find Dylan's music to be listenable and are thrown off by some of the serious content of his songs. I'm a real big Bob Dylan fan and have seen him live a few times. I like some of the serious aspects of his songs and appreciate his voice, sometimes. One album anyone can agree is excellent and fun to listen to is Dylan's "Nashville Skyline". He sheds some of the seriousness of past and future recordings and seems to have fun with a backing band that includes Johnny Cash and Charlie Daniels, who wrote the awesome song, "Devil Went Down to Georgia".
On most of his albums, Dylan goes beyond strumming a guitar and playing his harmonica. This is the case in "Nashville Skyline". The signature harmonica shows up sometimes, but theres great musical arrangement with organs, fiddles, gritty pianos, and twangy slide-guitars. Needless to say, this album has some serious country feel. Aside from the strong country influence, there are also some bluesy sounds, which give the album some nice range. Another difference between this album and other Dylan albums is the lack of serious content, the songs can be funny, and most of them are highly upbeat. One of my favorite songs is the title track, "Nashville Skyline", which is an instrumental. It's a real upbeat song that's kind of rambling and happy, and the instruments can all be appreciated; awesome song. A lot of Dylan's songs have humor involved in them, but this album really lacks any seriousness, aside from the occaisional love song.
This is defnitely one of my favorite albums, and I encourage any Dylan fan or person with interest in music to listen to this. It's a half hour well spent.

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