Culture & Criticism Since 2003
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 here, which 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.
1. “Young At Heart;” Johnny Richards, Carolyn Leigh
2. “Maybe You’ll Be There;” Rube Bloom, Sammy Gallop
3. “Polka Dots & Moonbeams;” Jimmy Van Heusen, Johnny Burke
4. “All the Way;” Van Heusen, Sammy Cahn
5. “Skylark;” Hoagy Carmichael, Johnny Mercer
6. “Nevertheless;” Harry Ruby, Bert Kalmar
7. “All or Nothing At All;” Arthur Altman, Jack Lawrence
8. “On A Little Street in Singapore;” Peter DeRose, Billy Hill
9. “It Had To Be You;” Isham Jones, Gus 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.