42 of 46 people found the following review helpful
1979 Bob Passes With Merit,
This review is from: Slow Train Coming (Audio CD)
This album is accessible musically and contains some of Bob's very best songs. Ignore the carps of the Anti-Jesus brigade (whoever they are!)....just listen to these songs for what they are. A man at a crossroads of his life following a messy and expensive divorce from Sara and finding a New Life in Christianity. Who can have a problem with that? It's ridiculous to even talk about. So what if some of the lyrics are confident and even derogatory to Non Believers? What exactly would you expect?? If others can't share his views or even accept them that is their problem. We all have our views. And what makes ours superior to his? All this talk about Dylan losing his objectivity and open mindedness is plain bullsh*t in my opinion. Would you prefer him to be championing the joys of snorting cocaine or drinking whiskey? Come on! This album is sincere in its delivery and the fact that his views are strong and full of conviction count as a virtue in my opinion. Kind of wish I had that conviction. In something at least. Other than Ringo Starr B Sides.
And so to the album. 'Gotta Serve Somebody' is just great, as is 'Precious Angel'....totally infectious (with tasteful Knopfler guitar)...and the next number 'I Believe In You' ranks alongside 'Every Grain Of Sand' and 'Forever Young' as Great Bob Ballads for different reasons, vulnerability, passion, just greatness. Whatever.
The title track lets the side down somewhat (pun not intended) and 'Gonna Change My Way of Thinking' is a little boring, musically at least. 'Do Right Unto Others' is sublime and 'When You're Gonna Wake Up' is thoroughly uplifting on all levels. Nice horns. 'Man Gave Names To All The Animals' is a children's song and none the worse for that. Hilarious to boot (seemed like there was nothing he couln't pull....aaahhh.....think I call it a bull etc). The closing track the piano based When He Returns is a real tour de force. Incredibly moving even if you are His Lordship Spock from the planet Vulcan. Or whatever it's called.
This album does not contain the mystique of its predecessor 'Street Legal' (1978) but neither does it display the bitter, twisted and confused (albeit brilliant) artist that that album did. Hats off Bob. Thank You for this album.