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genius x 2: Dylan and Knopfler
on 5 August 2003
This 1979 mellow but masterful offering from Bob Dylan was recorded in the famous Muscle Shoals Sound Studios in Alabama, and has a slightly funky feel to it. It's a work of amazing strength, and I can only conclude that the reason it has been so underrated is because of its Christian theme. The words are powerful, and the melodies bright and beautiful.
Mark Knopfler's unique sound can always be recognized after only a few notes from his guitar, and he graces this recording with his extraordinary musicianship. The former guiding light of Dire Straits, Knopfler is a large part of what makes this recording so special.
Though most of the songs have tough lyrics about making the right choices in life, "Man Gave Names To All the Animals" is a humorous and delightful tune that one keeps humming long after the CD has ended.
Dylan was asked by John Dolen of the Ft. Lauderdale Sun Sentinel in 1995 if he thought there was still a Slow Train Coming, and Dylan said, "When I look ahead now, it's picked up quite a bit of speed. In fact, it's going like a freight train now". Yes, this CD and its message are more relevant than ever, and it deserves its place at the forefront of popular music history with the best of Dylan's other great recordings.