Only months after releasing Blood on the Tracks
, Dylan was already looking forward, searching for a new sound. He could've just made Blood on the Tracks Pt. 2
, but instead he found an exotic violin player called Scarlet Riveria, and she effectively became the 'lead guitar' player for this set of recordings.
Dylan still played acoustic and sang of course, talented musicians Rob Stoner and Howard Wyeth made up the rhythm section, and EmmyLou Harris sings backing vocals. The result is a damn fine-sounding record - I so love the sound this group of musicians create, especially the violin - it's an unusual but very effective touch.
would almost be guaranteed a place in the history books just for the stupendously exciting "Hurricane", a song that screams out 'classic' as soon as the opening bars kick in. Then "Isis" makes it two classics in a row, both songs clearly following on from the writing techniques used for Blood on the Tracks
It's difficult to keep track of or make sense of what's going on lyrically, but this is a much more varied album compared to Blood on the Tracks
, whose songs were pretty much in the same style, it wasn't so much of a 'musical' album as such, though some songs such as "Tangled Up In Blue" were supremely musical. Nothing like Desire
's "Mozambique" however, where EmmyLou Harris is audible on backing vocals, and the violin perfectly suits the exotic 'foreign' feel of the music. Likewise, on "One More Cup of Coffee", the violin is key to the haunting melody, a fantastic song.
Though it's another interesting song, especially lyrically, and another exotic mixture of sounds musically, the 11-minute "Joey" could conceivably try the patience of even the biggest fan of the sound of this record - it does drag on! I can't criticise it too much though, the blending of Dylan and EmmyLou Harris's voices in the chorus is a thing of beauty.
by Reviewer: Adrian Denning
(blogging at Adrian's Album Reviews