BOB DYLAN: Do You Hear What I Hear?

NEWSWEEK: My take, after one listen (Sony didn’t provide advances of the CD) is that there’s no deep meaning or in-joke to behold here. Anyone attempting a hermeneutical link between Dylan’s new version of “Little Drummer Boy” and his recent rewrite of Willie Dixon’s “I Just Want to Make Love to You” is asking to be made a fool of in the public square. Whatever historian Sean Wilentz says, these new carols and standards don’t sound like part of the same project as the allusive, original compositions¬†on Love and Theft or Together Through Life. There’s not enough context or commentary on any of these standards that links them to anything else in Dylan’s catalog, not even his previous WTF covers (on the Self Portrait LP).¬†But neither is this album a throwaway joke, as some insiders have suspected: all the proceeds are going (in perpetuity) to a trio of worthy charities that target hunger. How churlish would Dylan have to be in hooking up such a noble consequence to an entirely unserious premise? MORE

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