USA, 1965, folk rock / singer-songwriter
I’m not even going to waste my time searching YouTube for any of the tracks on this album. Anyway, I’m not sure how highly I should praise this album. It’s obviously a groundbreaking, legendary album that helped guide the course of rock history, but my style of listening to and enjoying music is to come to the albums in my collection with as much of a clear mind as I can. That is, I try not to bring meta considerations to my appreciation. I really can’t stand the “oh this is an important album” mindset. I don’t care if an album is important. I only care if I enjoy it. There are tons of “important” albums I either don’t care for or flat-out despise. So what about this gem? For it is a gem in my collection, no matter its place in rock history. It has such a strong beginning, of course, one that always leaves me stunned at how brutal it is, but for me, the closer is even stronger. “Desolation Row” is one of my favorite Dylan songs. Everything about it is beautifully ugly, and I find that paradox fascinating. And I love the little poetic flourishes that anchor the song as an image in my mind, like when Dylan sings,
Cinderella, she seems so easy, “It takes one to know one,” she smiles
And puts her hands in her back pockets Bette Davis style
I also have a soft spot for sprawling, epic songs.