Christmas in the Heart
Grade — C-
For those of you who are unaware, Dylan’s voice has gone through different stages in his career. Whether the crooning country one, the extra whiny 80’s one, the strong early 70’s one, or the one he’s developed more recently. He’s in the process of belting out songs like Louie Armstrong. The deepness in his singing, which he describes on Love and Theft as “Some people say I got the blood of the lamb in my voice”, is appropriate for the music he sings…except for this album.
Bob Dylan may be Jewish, but has stated that he had grown around the Christmas carols and decided to cut an album in 2009 for these songs. All the proceeds of this album went to Feeding America in the U.S., Crisis in the UK and the World Food Programme, which gains major brownie points.
Some people were disappointed he did the classics pretty straight forward, but his rebuttal was, “There wasn’t any other way to play it”. The growl to Christmas tunes can be thoroughly entertaining, but for the most part are pretty forgettable pieces.
“O Come All Ye Faithful” and “Little Drummer Boy” are two of the three stronger songs on the album, as the dark feeling given by Dylan in his voice really seems to actually help these two songs.
However the most fun on the album is assuredly the cover of “Must Be Santa”. It is a pretty zany piece of Bobby’s history, with Dylan’s late love of the accordion, crazy pace, and pretty action filled music video. One of my favorite Christmas songs to play around the holidays (which isn’t hard, as the only other songs I play are from this album, “Pretty Paper” by Roy Orbison and “Jingle Bells Rock”).
So here is that video. – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8qE6WQmNus
Happy Christmas! 10 months early that is. And Happy Hanukkah to all those aging Jewish Musicians too!