Electric Review

Culture & Criticism From the Far Distant Realms

Pictures of the Faces From Another Life

FALLEN ANGELS. Bob Dylan. Columbia Records.

Fallen Angels

Album cover courtesy of Columbia Records.

Consider Bob Dylan’s just-released 37th studio record, Fallen Angels the second side of his 2015 classic Shadows In the Night. Angels takes off where Shadows rested in that it features Dylan interpreting 12 pieces from those American songwriters that have impacted the poet most deeply. See my review of Shadows In the Night herewhich provides the back-story to what Dylan is setting out to say with these records. Although many will miss the lyric-fire of his original songs, these albums are no less riveting than his earlier records as they provide a living breathing snapshot to how Dylan came to write “Like A Rolling Stone,” “Queen Jane,” “Dirge,” “Sara” and so many more. Everything stands out here, but I would remiss if I didn’t spotlight Dylan’s vocals: at once poignant and wistful, rolling on like a movie, painting pictures of the faces from the life that came before this one. In addition, Dylan’s band is riveting, interpreting the sound of the songs in relation to Dylan’s vocal: Charlie Sexton’s guitar and Donnie Herron’s pedal steel underscoring each vowel, italicizing the old bard’s breaths as they melt into next line. As I said, every cut stands tall in its own right, but “Young At Heart” (Johnny Richards, Carolyn Leigh) makes a statement about Dylan himself and he wades into the 36th year of the “Never-Ending Tour.” Also notable is “It Had To Be You” (Isham Jones, Gus Kahn), which serves as old kin to Dylan’s own unique brand of love song, showing us in real-time just how the likes of  “Love Minus Zero” and “To Ramona” were born. If you want to know about Bob Dylan, if you care to know what inspired him to play music for a lifetime, then go out and find Fallen Angels and Shadows In the Night. Like conversations with aged old friends, they’ll open doors you didn’t even know were there.

Complete Track Listing:

  1. Young At Heart;” Johnny RichardsCarolyn Leigh
  2. Maybe You’ll Be There;” Rube BloomSammy Gallop
  3. Polka Dots & Moonbeams;” Jimmy Van HeusenJohnny Burke
  4. All the Way;” Van Heusen, Sammy Cahn
  5. Skylark;” Hoagy CarmichaelJohnny Mercer
  6. Nevertheless;”  Harry RubyBert Kalmar
  7. All or Nothing At All;” Arthur AltmanJack Lawrence
  8. On A Little Street in Singapore;” Peter DeRoseBilly Hill
  9. It Had To Be You;” Isham JonesGus Kahn
  10. “Melancholy Mood;” Walter Schumann, Vick R. Knight, Senior
  11. That Old Black Magic;” Harold Arlen, Mercer
  12. Come Rain or Come Shine;” Arlen, Mercer
  • This track listing is reprised directly from Wikipedia. All content found in track listing link-back articles copyright Wikipedia and subject to Wikipedia’s specific copyright polices and provisions.

The Bob Dylan Band:

  • Bob Dylan: vocals
  • Charlie Sexton: guitar
  • Stu Kimball: guitar
  • Dean Parks: guitar
  • Donnie Herron: steel guitar, viola
  • Tony Garnier: bass
  • George Recile: drums

by John Aiello

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This entry was posted on May 31, 2016 by in 2016, In the Spotlight, June 2016, Rat On Music and tagged , , .
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