As can be surmised from my Stones reviews, blues ain't my cup of meat. Sure, I like brisk 12-bar rockers and bluesy guitar licks, but the genuine grumpy southern Blues doesn't do much for me. And Time Out of Mind
is pretty much all slow blues.
This album was widely acclaimed by the critics, and even won the an 'Album of the Year' Grammy (placing Dylan alongside the esteemed company of Toto, Celine Dion, and Phil Collins), but that was mostly because everyone was glad Dylan hadn't died (he'd had a heart infection).
The music itself is dullsville, and the lyrics don't go anywhere either. There are two numbers that stand out though ... firstly, "Make You Feel My Love" has the usual trite rhymes, but a subtle gorgeous melody that Dylan massacres, which accounts for the round of Nashville covers that followed (I prefer Trisha Yearwood's version).
And secondly, "Highlands" has even less musical content than most of the songs - literally just one guitar lick - over and over, but is perversely stretched out to Topographic Oceans
length with twenty verses, seven of which are dedicated to a failed attempt at ordering eggs in a restaurant. It's amusing the first time, infuriating thereafter.
It's hard to say much about the rest of the album. Dylan affects his 'look Ma, I'm a bluesman' voice, and he sings obvious sentiments (heartbreak is bad, growing old isn't fun) with lazy phrasing, and the production is swampy beyond belief. This is the kind of music they play at Applebee's Neighborhood Grill and Bar restaurant chain, on 'Blues & Barbecue' night.Rated:
by Reviewer: Steve Knowlton
(blogging at Steve's Record Reviews