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New Morning: Bob Dylan - Not quite the dawn of a bright new day for Dylan
on 2 August 2012
This 1970 release, the eleventh studio album from Bob Dylan, was always going to be well received, coming as it did straight after the much derided `Self Portrait'. And indeed, compared to what came immediately before it sounds pretty good. But it's still a long way from Dylan's best.
After the almost self destructive path taken with `Self Portrait', almost daring the public to buy it, Dylan at least here sounds like he is making an effort and is a little engaged with the music. An album of amiable tunes results. And that's about the best that can be said for most of it - it's competent, listenable and generally OK, but for the main part (apart from the classic Dylan opener `If Not For You', an effective yet simple love song) there is notherng here that really grabs your attention and makes itself noticed. It is perhaps the most anonymous album in Dylan's canon, neither controversial or amazingly good. It really lacks the spark of adversity that made Highway 61 or Blood On The Tracks great. It's just another album of country pop-rock. OK but not exciting. Strange as it sounds, I often find myself listening to Self Portrait more often than I put this on. At least that album had some character of its own, even if it was dire. 3 stars.