Posted by flotz on Sunday, March 11, 2012 | Album Review

A behemoth at 73 songs. A lotta meh, a few stinkers by luminous egos and a few gems.  Overall, kept thinking that the best person who covers Bob Dylan songs is Bob Dylan.  I’d rather hear Dylan’s garbled, twisted rendition of “Like A Rolling Stone” than Jeff Beck’s bloated turd.    Also, no Robyn Hitchcock? What a diss. 

The gems:

  • Johnny Cash – “One Too Many Mornings” Not sure which Cash era this is from, but this cover is golden.  A tough act to follow as the first song on the collection. Hard to follow the man in black.
  • Billy Bragg – “Lay Down Your Weary Tune” What a great song. Bragg does it justice with a simple arrangement and a humble, strong delivery
  • Miley Cyrus – “You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go” Give the Nashville machine credit on this one. Gotta say it sounds great!
  • Bettye LaVette – “Most of the Time” Wow.  Everybody playing on the tune is holding back, barely making the beat.  Guitarist sounds sweet with Fender vibrato and LaVette just imbues every line with soul.
  • Pete Seeger – “Forever Young” Awesome!  With a choir of kids in the back and Seeger delivering the lyrics like a homily.
  • Sugarland – “Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You” Rousing version of this tune, cool interpretation.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Patti Smith – “Drifter’s Escape” Totally appropriate pick for Patti. Such a monotone song, so arty as it were.
  • Joan Baez – “Seven Curses” Again, perfect pick.
  • Bryan Ferry – “Bob Dylan’s Dream” Cool synth arrangement of a somewhat obscure tune
  • Silver Sun Pickups – “Not Dark Yet” Bold pick and they (almost) do it justice
  • We Are Augustines – “Mama, You Been On My Mind” A great tune and they render it with heartfelt tunefulness
  • Angélique Kidjo – “Lay Lady Lay” Really weird interpretation and cool hearing women belt out some of those great lines

The stinkers

  • Pete Townshend – It’s like Pete trying to sound like Bob. Eek.
  • Kei$ha – No one should every let her sing a cappella. Never ever again may this be allowed to happen.
  • Lenny Kravitz – Stop yrself.
  • Carly Simon – As soon as she hit the line “makes love like a woman” had to skip