Friday, October 23, 2009

Until he opens his mouth that is: and then it is the raunchin’ phlegmy wheeze we know as Dylan’s modern voice. There is a moment of disbelief, then hilarity, then a little more hilarity, and then it settles in to a kind of hallucinogenic mash-up of old world sounds and other-worldly vocalizations. It is almost like listening to a Salvation Army band playing down the block, but right below your window is some toothless geezer singing along with them. They float up together like so many wisps of smoke to your window and then, in spite of the incongruities and just plain weirdness of it all, you find yourself transported to some sacred, private place where you are alone with your hopes and failures-all on Christmas morning. Christmas In The Heart is a strange, complicated, piece of the Dylan canon. It is hard to fully grasp what he is doing, but the feeling it leaves you with ultimately is bittersweet poignance.

Paul Epstein in his blog Spork, Review of Bob Dylan's new Christmas album.

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