Dylan's first album was a Woody Guthrie-pilfering, fairly ugly piece of work. Nevertheless, it was fairly popular, and the pressure was on for his second album. He was already being called a visionary - check out the sycophantic wibbling about him in the album booklet when he'd only released one album. But, just for once, the critics were dead on, as with his second album, his first of all original material, he discovered his muse; it would scarcely leave him up until the 1980s.
I'm not one to throw around a five-star review. I find myself giving them to more Dylan albums than anyone else though; I think the only ones who could equal him on that score would be The Beatles. This is not to say Freewheelin' is perfect, as I think Out On The Highway is a meandering, odd track not worth the time, as the guitar part and vocals seem to be completely ignorant of each other despite being played by one guy.
But the rest of the album is positively magnificent. The likes of 'Blowin' In The Wind' or 'A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall' have become trite through ubiquity, but the lesser known songs on here are just as good. 'Corinna, Corinna' is a fairly traditional ballad, with a backing group that - while sounding hilariously restrained when compared to the insane rocking of the likes of 'Bob Dylan's 115th Dream' two years later - suit the song. 'Oxford Town' and 'Baby, Gimme One More Chance' are both two minute numbers, both superb, and very different; the former a mini-rant about civil rights, the latter are gloriously absurd love song where his wheezy harmonica playing and childish whooping make everything here seem worthwhile.
Overall, this is one of the essential Bob Dylan albums. If you only buy one record from his acoustic period, make it this one; it's the best of the lot.