RS #385: Bob Dylan, Love and Theft


Bob Dylan, Love and Theft

Release Date: 2001
Previously Owned: No
First Time Listen: Yes

Impressions: Another late-career Dylan entry. Okay, let’s get through this… Bluesy, rockabilly opener. His craggy, nasal vocal style doesn’t really appeal to me, but this sounds lighter and looser already. Unpretentious production. Something about “Mississippi” snuck up on me: he’s older and been through some stuff and it seems lived in with lyrics like “I’m gonna look at you ’til my eyes go blind,
” got me in a weird way. Maybe it’s ’cause I’m older…Dig the jump blues of “Summer Days”…love that guitar style. Sounds like he’s having fun here compared to the last album, not worried about sounding current or doing an big-concept album about getting old or whatever. Nice jazzy stroll for “Bye and Bye”…this album is so far a pleasant surprise… I was not really looking forward to this one. “Lonesome Day Blues” sounds like classic Blonde on Blonde Dylan. I didn’t go nuts for Time Out Of Mind, but, whatdya know, I’m enjoying this far more than I thought I would! Good ol’ decreased expectations! Outside of the lyric about a “booty call,” “Cry A While” sounds like classic ’60s bluesy Dylan. End to end, his band is very skilled at a multitude of Americana styles without straining. (Nods approvingly,) lovely stuff.
Starred Songs: “Mississippi,” “Lonesome Day Blues”
Sneaky Track: “Summer Blues,” “Bye and Bye,” “Po’Boy”
Should this album be on the list? I was all ready to cross this one off and have another album to put on here, but in an upset: I’m gonna say sure, Bob… you can stay here for now.
Will You Listen To This Again: Hmm, not sure, but I could see throwing it one here
Verdict: Uncluttered, straight-forward production catches an aging Dylan singing with a warm ease that makes this album of jazzy, bluesey tunes breeze by.
Rating:  ★★★1/2