Home / Music / Album Reviews / Jakob Dylan

Jakob Dylan

Women Country (Columbia)

Apr. 28, 2010
Google plus Linkedin Pinterest
Following his two-decade journey from The Wallflowers to record-store discount bins everywhere, Jakob Dylan has quietly reinvented himself over two solo albums in the vain of Nebraska-era Bruce Springsteen. 2008’s Seeing Things painted the heir-of-a-voice-of-a-generation in surprisingly competent, assured strokes of pastoral and subdued Americana. Here, Dylan rides red-hot producer T-Bone Burnett and wallows in the backing vocals of Neko Case and Kelly Hogan to another thoroughly OK outing.

Sepia-toned and sleepy, the entire soundscape might have been lifted directly from the cutting-room floor of Robert Plant/Alison Krauss’ Raising Sand. The occasional weepy fiddle, dobro, border-café horns and upright bass turned to 11 bear the obvious vintage-washed rock/country/folk mark of Burnett. Mostly it’s the perfect dusk lighting for Dylan to explore his world of buzzards overhead, sheets blowing on clotheslines in wide-open America and, definitely, blood on the tracks. What with the spooky Peckinpah-ish “We Don’t Live Here Anymore,” ready-to-give-up “Down On Our Own Shield” and wounded “Standing Eight Count,” strife and discord hang thick.

In fact, though he holds an unquestionably unremarkable voice, and the songs generally feel of a piece, much of his two solo albums offer the image of Dylan as a fighter—ignorant to criticism and what has to be the worst artistic shadow in popular music history. Or, maybe, it’s the sound of defiant reticence from a man accepting his limitations and making the most of them. Either way, he’s miles from “One Headlight,” and that alone is something to get behind.


Are you upset by the way the NFL and the team owners have treated Colin Kaepernick?

Getting poll results. Please wait...