Bob Dylan’s Shadows in the Night is not one of his best considering his many decades of musical talent. The album which is a cover of a number of Frank Sinatra ballads lacks a finesse which makes it hard to listen to at certain points.
Shadows in the Night is his first studio album since 2012 and is not a traditional portrayal of Dylan’s usual music.
As both a Dylan and Sinatra fan – I feel that Dylan’s selection of the Sinatra songs he chose to cover were not ideal. The songs do not suit Dylan’s vocal style.
His vocals are well-suited for his regular country and blues music but it just doesn’t work for ballad or slow jazz.
It’s disappointing to say the least. I’ve always been a lover of Dylan and this album makes me wish he would have left things with his last album Tempest.
The only time I would ever think of listening to this album again would be while sitting on a deserted island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Not Hawaii.
There are some redeeming features on this album that may make it bearable and enjoyable (to a degree) for die-hard fans of both musicians.
Dylan attempts to recreate a more ‘Dylanesque’ version of Sinatra’s ballads which work on a few of the album tracks.
His rendition of That Lucky Old Sun and The Night We Called It A Day are lovely on the ears. It shows how deeply entrenched Dylan’s roots are in the ballads of the 1960’s.
The use of live instruments and unedited or synthesised sounds makes it unique from the usual contemporary music that is currently being released.
The music style, sound and genre transports one back to late 50’s and early 60’s which represents the slow-swing or ballad era.
I commend Dylan for breaking out of his usual blues and folk genre of music (which in all honesty is his best) but I feel he just didn’t crack it this time.
Good on him for taking this risk, but in this case it just didn’t work.