7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
A true classic!,
By A Customer
This review is from: The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan [HYBRID SACD] (Audio CD)
This is a great introduction to Bob Dylan's modest music. An inexperienced ear could judge it as too modest, but the key is to accept the fact that on the surface Dylan's music is samey. Then you'll notice that he is actually a superb composer and lyricist, and also stylistically wide. The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan showcases Dylan's pure folk side. The album hits hard because it's very genuine. This is just the man, his acoustic guitar and his harmonica. Each of them is more tolerable than on Dylan's later albums: the young Bob doesn't yell ('Idiot Wind', anyone?), he hasn't completely stopped trying to get pure tones out of his harmonica, and he knows his guitar picking techniques which makes for nice variety. On top of this all, the atmosphere here is very cozy. You can hear Dylan giving a laugh now and then when he botches up some lyrics!
This being only Dylan's second release, it's amazing how consistent an album he could make. There are a few absolute gems: 'Blowin' In The Wind' in its simplicity is one of the best songs ever written, 'A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall' starts the tradition of poetic Dylan epics, and 'Masters Of War' is very pungent in its young angry doom. The rest of the album doesn't quite rise to this level but doesn't feel like filler either. Every track has at least a slight hook or an original musical idea. Although the album features innovative lyrics for its time with a lot of political content and skillful rhymes, Dylan would develop a lot as a lyricist during the next years. Now it's mostly just a clever folk buddy singing his thoughts out.
All in all, The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan practically brings the young witty Bob Dylan into your living room. The difference between this and today's sterile studio pop is amazing! Once you have acquainted yourself with this warm sound, there is no way back. The improved sound quality of this new issue only strengthens the effect. A pop music collection without this folk classic isn't a collection at all.