Dylan's distinctive voice
powers 'Love and Theft'
Love and Theft
****1/2 (out of five stars)
By Geronimo Rodriguez
Daily Cougar Staff
As soon as Bob Dylan's Love and Theft album
starts to spin, it's obvious the legendary singer/songwriter laughs at
the thought of
slowing with age.
While his voice has hardened with time,
Dylan's imaginative lyrics accommodate a sound that runs with everything
blues to electric rockabilly.
Dylan's songwriting has always been witty,
but Love and Theft thrives on the musician's lighter side.
The album plays like a parody of experiences
that Dylan scribbled out in the form of riddles and collected in his guitar
With songs like "Summer Days," "Lonesome
Day Blues" and "Cry Awhile," Dylan puts on a grin and cracks out the witty
well known for, smothered with the sound
"Summer Days" describes a hapless optimist:
"My back's been to the wall so long it seems like it's stuck‚ and I got
my hammer ringin'‚
pretty baby, but the nails ain't going
These are just a few lines from the album
that show Dylan at his best with words.
"Sugar Baby" and "Honest With Me" are two
of the 12 songs that express one-sided love, a recurring theme in Dylan's
With "Sugar Baby," Dylan concludes that
"every moment of existence seems like a dirty trick," while he sounds more
"Honest With Me" as he belts out lyrics
like: "I'm not sorry for nothing I've done/ I'm glad we fought, I only
wish we won."
Two cleverly written satires, "Mississippi"
and "Highwater (for Charlie Patton)," describe things gone wrong, too much
to even get
close to explaining.
These two tracks are similar to Dylan's
more readily recognized works -- only now he's in a different time surrounded
The most surprising element in Love and
Theft is Dylan's attempt to raise his worn voice a couple of notes as he
looks to pull off a
few romantic ballads.
"Moonlight" and "Bye and Bye" are two songs
that will surely spark a few laughs when Dylan does his best to croon his
the soft lyrics.
Larry Campbell, Charlie Sexton, Tony Garnier,
David Kemper and Augie Meyers play the array of sounds found throughout
Except for Meyers, these players also fill
Dylan's background on his extensive road trips, which may be why the album
took only two
weeks to record.
Love and Theft can also be found with an
The limited edition two-disc package features
two songs that are vintage Dylan. If you want your money's worth, the special
is the one to buy.
For those who enjoy Dylan's earlier works,
these two tracks will bring back the image of his poetic words and raspy
representing trying times in dire need
of a voice.
The rarely heard song "I Was Young When
I Left Home" is the first track on the second disc.
With verses like: "Not a shirt on my back/
not a penny on my name," a melancholy Dylan expresses mixed feelings about
Everything about this track ensures this
ballad a place on Dylan's long list of greatest songs.
This edition is definitely worth the few
dollars more if "The Times They Are A-Changin'" is a song you haven't heard
Dylan's popular lyrics on this particular
track show his uncanny ability to define a time and the place it was headed.
Dylan's Love and Theft is certainly a must-have
as the resilient performer pulls out a few tricks to propel his riddle
of furious words
and warbling voice.