This is the third and final of Dylan's 'Born Again' albums, and marks a major improvement over Saved
. It passes the most basic standard that I have for 'good' albums - that is, I enjoy listening to it at work.
However, the obvious complaint about the album is that little about it blows me away, though that's really only a complaint because Dylan's classic albums frequently blew me away such that it was like my head was inside a tornado.
As you might have realized by now, Bob Dylan was a rather raggedly-looking fellow. This album very much resembles that appearance, sounding as unruly as the thick head of hair he has on his head. It's rife with chunky rhythms, unkempt guitar, and Dylan often singing at the top of his lungs.
Shot of Love
is also frequently accused of being an album full of generic tunes - a completely valid criticism, but there's also no rule that generic tunes can't be entertaining. And that's what this album is to me, it's a collection of entertaining songs that are presented in a highly energetic manner.
“Shot of Love” is the album opener, and features a heart-pounding R&B groove and some funky rhythm guitar. It's especially generic, but the heart-pounding aspect is enough to sell me the ticket. “Heart of Mine” is my favorite song on the album. It's extremely upbeat and joyous, with an appealing melody, and I enjoy its orchestration, consisting predominantly of a bouncy piano and guitar.
"Property of Jesus" is another keeper - even though the verses might be a little uninteresting - it turns into a true powerhouse as Dylan belts out the chorus, and it's reminiscent of The Band in the late 1960's. “The Groom's Still Waiting at the Altar” is a very heavy bit of blues with tons of energy radiating from it. Once again it's absolutely generic, but its instrumentation is thick and spirited. There you'll hear wobbling guitars flailing about; rhythm guitar, bass, and drums pounding away with verve; bluesy ivory tickling as is required for these sorts of songs; and best of all Dylan's loud and electric vocal performance. Even the female backup singers that lift the song in key moments, are nicely done.
by Reviewer: Don Ignacio
(blogging at Don Ignacio's Album Reviews