Monday, February 22, 2010

World Gone Wrong -- Bob Dylan, 1993

Like millions of others, I consider Bob Dylan to be the greatest songwriter of all time. In every song, his words transport you from your world into his. It's like stepping into a painting--You don't just listen to a Dylan song; you become part of it.

To me, however, there is something about Dylan that I love even more than his words -- The Voice. That is why I've chosen World Gone Wrong as the first album to review here. It's easy to get away with saying he's the best songwriter ever; even people that only know a few of his songs won't dispute that. But, listening to this album - 10 songs that he did not write - let's you better appreciate how talented Dylan is as a singer.

These are songs full of sadness, remorse, despair and weariness --- and those are the cheery ones (jk). When he repeatedly sings the line "all the friends I ever had are gone" on Delia, he sounds like a man who has reached bottom for the last time and "might never, never get up". On Love Henry, he sings a song from a woman's point of view -- she's just killed her lover rather than face losing him to the woman who waits for him back home. Two Soldiers tells the story of two young men promising to deliver a message to each other's loved ones if either of them is killed in battle; problem is - they both die. Throughout the album, Dylan's voice rises and drops, winds and bends like a raspy old harmonica, squeezing every drop of pain out of these dark, lonely songs.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

What's This Blog About ??

Welcome to SlowTrain Rollin'..... Did you just happen to stumble upon this little blog of mine by accident? Or, was your arrival here part of some great plan laid out by unseen forces that have been guiding you every minute of your life until you found this place? Either way, you're probably asking yourself one thing: Who is this idiot?? Well, I'm gonna ignore that question and answer this one instead: What is this SlowTrain Rollin' blog about?
Like most bloggers, I'll be using this space to express my opinions on a variety of subjects no one really asked me about in the first place. I don't mean those small, tedious topics like politics, war, religion... No, I'm out to tackle the really BIG issues of today: Music and Sports.
I will be reviewing many of the CDs I have collected over the years (Yes, I'm the guy that still buys CDs). My collection isn't huge, but it does consist of some of the greatest artists of all time: Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel, Simon & No Garfunkel, The Band and, some country stars: Willie Nelson, Alan Jackson, Alison Krauss. I'll also include my thoughts on a few newer acts that have made their way into my collection -- Amos Lee and Tokio Hotel (If you don't know them, go check them out right now!!!! I'll wait...)
I know what you're thinking now: Who is this idiot??? As I said earlier, I'm gonna ignore that question. But, you may also be asking yourself what could I possibly have to say about Dylan and The Beatles classic albums that hasn't been said before? Answer: Not much, but at least I can share with you why I love this stuff so much and encourage you to listen to them yourself, whether it's for the first time or the 1,000th time.
When I'm not writing about the music I love, I'll toss in a few thoughts about the other things that make me get out of bed every day: Baseball, fishing and maybe even a book review or two.
So, now that you know what this blog is about, be sure to check it out once in a while and let me know what you think.