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Bob goes back to his folk roots
on 28 August 2007
I got round to listening to this album after Frank Black sardonically called it the best album of the last 15 years in a special edition of Q a few years back (he also added that he was currently listening to Self-Portrait). This is an undistinguished, but enjoyable collection of stripped-down folk standards, recorded during a time when Dylan's creative muse had more or less deserted him. As such, its best not to come to this album with high expectations. Its not that there's anything wrong with it, its just that this is Bob Dylan, and one expects a bit more than Bob going through the motions, even if he is doing so quite competently. Nonetheless there may be some justice in seeing this album as a prelude to his return to form with Time Out of Mind and Love and Theft, going back to his roots to get some inspiration. So its certainly worth a look if you're a Dylanologist. For the casual listener, to pick this album up instead of one of Bob's more celebrated albums would be, at the very least, perverse.