Tuesday, March 09, 2010

CD of the Day: ‘Time Out of Mind,’ Bob Dylan (1997)

It takes Bob Dylan a while to get going on this album. The first four tracks on “Time Out of Mind” are rather dull, something you typically don’t associate with one of the most acclaimed songwriters ever ("Dirt Road Blues" is certainly my favorite for this section).

Not until No. 5, “Tryin’ to Get to Heaven,” does he start to sound like the rejuvenated Dylan I’ve come to know and respect over the past decade. “Heaven” is one of two excellent ballads on this CD, the other being “Not Dark Yet.” Everything’s OK from there until you hit the last track, “Highlands.” I don’t care who you are, a 16-and-a-half-minute song is nearly impossible to justify.

I know I’m spoiled by the work Dylan’s done since, but “Time Out of Mind” doesn’t quite measure up. Listening to this album I can better understand why Dylanphiles went so insane with joy over “Love and Theft” four years later.

Grade: B-

Favorite Track: “Tryin’ to Get to Heaven”

Least Favorite Track: “Highlands

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