Dylan scored big on 'Blood on the Tracks,' perhaps the first of many comebacks. The subject matter of love gone wrong has been taken elsewhere, especially with his wild, majestic 'Blonde on Blonde,' but 'Blood on the Tracks' finds him in fine folk form, able to draw more from experience and quiet passion. The known songs are all great, including the mesmerizing hit "Tangled up in Blue," the excellent and hypnotic "Simple Twist of Fate," and the pensive "Shelter from the Storm". Less heralded are other great songs, like, arguably the album's best, "Lily, Rosemary, and the Jack of Hearts". Complete with a fine story and a rollicking accompaniment, "...the Jack of Hearts" comes up with aces musically and lyrically. Quieter moments are highlighted with the beautiful serenade of "You're a Big Girl Now," which only reminds one in style of another classic "Just Like a Woman". There's also the acoustic ballad excellence of "If You See Her, Say Hello," which is written like a letter to his lover's successor. Still, there are moments when qualified brilliance is present. "Idiot Wind" seems to gather more pungency from the delivery than the lyrical development. "Buckets of Rain," which ends the album caps off his folk excellence. According to his memoir autobiography, 'Chronicles, Vol. I, Dylan wrote that he, to paraphrase, sabotoged his career to escape becoming a messiah. In the liner notes, he is defined as a "troubadour". Indeed, he truly found himself again on 'Blood on the Tracks'. Too bad he had to find love gone sour to find his true footing once again.
I am trying to appreciate the creativity and imagery of Bob Dylan. Whereas I do admire the atmospherics on such cuts as Your A Big Girl Now and Tangled Up In Blue, too many of these songs are excessively long winded. Heck that Jack of Hearts number must have twelve or thirteen verses all at the same pace with absolutely no change in instrumental definition. This is oh so grating.Also annoying is Bob Dylan's voice on several songs. Some people may find Idiot Wind to be an emotional performance. And … more
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Inevitably, when critics praise a new Dylan album, they label it the "best sinceBlood on the Tracks," and with good reason. Inspired by a crumbled marriage, and recorded after a tour with The Band had apparently re-ignited his creativity,Bloodis among Dylan's masterpieces. The album's epic songs are well known, but its real high points are the shorter numbers--"You're a Big Girl Now," the flawless blues "Meet Me in the Morning," and the sweetly devastating "Buckets of Rain." These are songs of "images and distorted facts," each expressed through tangled points of view, and all of them blue.--David Cantwell