Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Possible masterpiece?

Bob Dylan has written too many good albums to list. Being a pretty big fan I try to pick up whatever albums are considered his best or albums people tell me are worth listening to. An album I'd always heard was good was "Desire," but everyone I've talked to said that it pales in comparison to his 70s masterpiece, "Blood on the Tracks." The last time I had some money in my pocket I bought Desire and its definitely up there with any of Dylan's best albums.
Desire is an album of story songs. Every song has a vivid description of a character or place with a plot. Some of the songs are based on real life and others are imagined, but they all sound great. The most famous song from Desire is probably "Hurricane," which is about Ruben Carter, the famous middleweight fighter who was locked up for a crime he didn't commit. This used to be my favorite Dylan song, but now I definitely have to debate it after hearing the rest of this album. The pacing of the album is perfect. The beginning of the album is pretty upbeat, the middle is a little slower, and the end combines the two. All of the songs on the album also feature a fiddle, which adds a great sound to the music and although Dylan has incorporated the fiddle in his music before, its never sounded like this. You might say it gives the album a country texture, but the sound goes beyond that. Different styles and pacing of the fiddle give it a world music feel, kind of like a Paul Simon type of song. It's great. The best songs on the album are Hurricane, Isis, Mozambique, and Sara, in my opinion. There's no question, though, that the album can be listened to the whole way through.
For me the ability to listen to an album the whole way through qualifies it as a great work, as this is so rare. Desire can be listened to the whole way through.

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