So, what’s your take on Dylan’s Christmas album?

Much has been written the past few days about Bob Dylan’s new Christmas album.

Anyone here in his birthplace care to weigh in?

MinnPost has excerpts from and links to a number of reviews, and I… kind of agree with all of them. The cuts I’ve heard are at once intolerable, endearing, surreal, hilarious…

If you have not heard any of the songs yet, you can hear “Must Be Santa” on Dylan’s Web site. Click on “Read the Story” in the “Christmas in the Heart” box on the right side. Then scroll down for the link to the audio on the left side. Enjoy the fast-paced accordions.

And, there is a medley of song clips here.

Whatever people think of it, he’s donating the royalties to charity – so from that perspective, it’s a great album.

19 Comments

Beverly

about 12 years ago

What I heard was bad, surprisingly bad.

Barrett Chase

about 12 years ago

First of all, I have been a Dylan fan since I was 13 years old, and I enjoy all of his music, throughout his various identity switches. But I have to say just from previewing the album, that this music is awful. Just really really awful.

I think "I'll Be Home for Christmas" is probably the strongest track, simply because it sounds like everyone involved is drunk, and that's kind of funny, especially in such a sappy tearjerker song. But when your best song is only good because it's so-bad-it's-good, that's a bad thing. 

Most of the rest of the songs are jaunty and irritating, and there is a sharp contrast between the smooth, jazzy music, the chorus of background singers, and Dylan's gravelly, 3-packs-a-day smoker's voice. A Dylan Christmas album should sound like Nashville Skyline. Put that album on under some Christmas lights, and it really works. Dylan's deteriorating voice is no longer capable of making a record like that. It's hard to sing in a smooth, cool way when you constantly sound on the verge of coughing up a phlegmball. 

Unlike a lot of people, I've never had a problem with Dylan's voice. I usually like how it sounds. His harmonica solos often grate, but his voice has never been a problem for me, until this album.

brian

about 12 years ago

I love schmaltz, cheese, and gimmick more than anybody, but some of these just don't work, even on a Shatnerish level. The pieces just don't fit together. It feels like they got all the music and background recorded for um ... I dunno ... Mariah Carey. Then they called in Bob, but nobody had the guts to say "Hmmm, this isn't working."
Some are better than others, and I think Dylan could do an awesome job with holiday songs, but the traditional Holiday orchestration and background vocals don't fit with his voice.

Bad Cat!

about 12 years ago

Dylan should not be "perky."

edgeways

about 12 years ago

blarrrrggg

I like Dylan, I hate this album.

Shane Bauer

about 12 years ago

It's not rad, but I think it's fun to hear Bob singing Christmas songs - something different for sure and perhaps a way to get my kids to appreciate him more too. And all for charity, or at least $12 (it comes to $17.11 after tax and 5-10 day shipping). I had not heard of this so thanks for the post. Now we can have a tradition that includes Kenny, Dolly AND Bob Dylan!

Does anyone know of any local bands that have a Christmas album or a local compilation? Duluth does Christmas?

oldknifey

about 12 years ago

There's an album that's done through the Ramblin' Ranch in Osceola, WI called Christmas Jam. It features a lot of midwest acts on it. This year Old Knifey and the Cutthroats and the Two Beat Band are both on it. It should be out sometime around Thanksgiving.

Shane Bauer

about 12 years ago

Cool - thanks Old Knifey. I'll see you guys tonight at the PAVSA party!

Paul Lundgren

about 12 years ago

Low put out a Christmas album in 1999 called Christmas.

J. P. Rennquist put together a compilation of Christmas songs by Duluth-area artists in 2000 called A North Country Christmas. 

I would say the Low album is easy to find and the Rennquist compilation is next to impossible to find.

ohnoanotherputz

about 12 years ago

Though I am not sure if any copies are left, there was the Hog Damage Collective Christmas album full of local holiday goodness.

amy a.

about 12 years ago

i have a couple copies of the hog damage collective xmas album still left for sale. email me if you want one.
[email protected]

adam

about 12 years ago

I have grown tired of all the Bob Dylan fetishists.

zra

about 12 years ago

Dylanistas?

wildgoose

about 12 years ago

Paul, etc

A North COuntry Holiday used to be available online but it is down with the Wild Goose DJ dot com website.

I would be happy to do a party or something for charity and distribute the "North Country Holiday" thing.  If any astute promoters out there want to team up let me know ... 

oh ... PS there is an earlier collection of same and similar called a "Northland Christmas" the pre-quel to North Country Holiday.

wildgoose

about 12 years ago

I'm humbled that anyone remembers ... that was over 10 years ago

Barrett Chase

about 12 years ago

Over 10 years ago? What are some of the local bands featured on it?

Bobby

about 12 years ago

How wrong is it of me to say I am somewhat relieved that Hendrix and Joplin ODed before they entered their christian rock and Christmas album phases.  Oh Tannenbam would've sounded wierd on electric guitar.

zra

about 12 years ago

@ Bobby, unfortunately, we *have* had to endure Christmas albums by Pat Boone.

Todd Gremmels

about 12 years ago

Just the fact that Bob Dylan did a Christmas album is amazing!!

Peace

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