Songs Of Bob Dy­lan (Thirty Tigers)

Australian HIFI - - ON TEST -

Joan Os­borne couldn’t have set her­self a harder task when she de­cided to put out an al­bum of Bob Dy­lan cov­ers. It’s not that she isn’t up to the task – it’s just that a gar­gan­tuan fig­ure like Dy­lan casts a long shadow and un­for­tu­nately, Os­borne gets caught in the cusp of com­par­i­son and then falls just shy of the source. Though her coun­try-blues with a touch of soul gives the Dy­lan clas­sics a care­free, yet re­as­sur­ing tone, her vo­cal style doesn’t reach the dra­matic heights of her hero. It’s not that she can’t sing, ei­ther, but her pow­er­ful de­liv­ery is too strong to bring out the air of vul­ner­a­bil­ity that gives Dy­lan his raw edge. And though some tracks (Rainy Day Woman #12 & #35) fol­low a new mu­si­cal path un­der her hand, she doesn’t dig into stylis­tic shifts as of­ten as she could. Ev­ery unique take is fol­lowed by some­thing a lit­tle more straight-up and risk free. These aren’t so much fresh in­ter­pre­ta­tions as they are en­gag­ing trib­utes, but they’re still a pleas­ant lis­ten nonethe­less. P.Z.

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