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Old 04-12-2013, 08:56 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Bob Dylan - Desire(1976)

Writing this review as I listen to the album in it's entirety for the first time, only song I have heard off of it is Hurricane. First time writing a review while listening to the album as I hear it, so bear with me. Constructive criticism appreciated.

Of course the album opens up with Hurricane. Who couldn't love such a classic? The melody and rhythm Bob Dylan weaves always gives me the chills. Not to mention it is a shining example of his story telling of the times. You can almost feel like you're back in the time period and you connect with the characters he paints.

It's followed up by Isis. I am really digging the intro piano and bass line. So far it has classic Dylan vocal style and structure. The beat of the drums is a bit rough to me, but it goes quite well with the track.

Track 3, Mozambique is clearly somewhat of a filler track, nothing too special about it. However, according to wikipedia, the track started off as a game between Dylan and Jacques Levy to see how many rhymes they could make with -ique. So, as much as a filler track as it seems, it can be quite catchy and perhaps shows a lighter side to Dylan's music.

One More Cup Of Coffee and Oh, Sister did not appeal to me so much, quite standard Dylan songs, and appear to be fillers on the album. Though Oh, Sister did become a concert favorite.

Required for this track to let you guys know I am not a huge fan of most songs past the 5-7 minute mark so as I listen to Joey, I expect there might be a negative aspect to the review, but who knows.

Again, Dylan's knack for storytelling is apparent in Joey. As I stated, I am usually not for longer songs. However, Joey has kept my attention. Which I attribute to Dylan being able to not only tell a story of the time, but tell it well. The rhythm keeps me interested as well, if I were to listen a couple times, the lyrics would be memorable. Certainly a song I would listen to more. While the instrumentation is good throughout the song, I feel some of the quiet passages could have been taken out to shorten the song. Upon reflection of that statement, perhaps it is those passages that glue the track together and really make it stand out.

To me Romance In Durango and Black Diamond Bay were just songs before the closer, nothing too special. Nothing wrong with them either.

The closing song Sara was a decent closer. It was relaxing and told yet another story. However it wasn't a particular favorite. I couldn't connect to it at all, and granted it is personally about his soon to be ex-wife Sara. So it makes sense I wouldn't connect to it, he is pulling from his personal life in this one. So I have to take it for what it is, a decent closing track.

With Hurricane and Joey, I understand they are about actual people of the time period and storytelling for these songs were needed. I feel the way they were written was something only Bob Dylan could pull together. Someone else could not have written songs about these people as amazingly as he did.

Overall, I rank this album as a whole, somewhere within my top 100 albums. I give it an 8/10. I would gladly listen to it again.
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Old 04-12-2013, 06:48 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Desire is probably my favourite Dylan album, porkchop, so I read your review with interest.

You did a good job of talking us through the different tracks and I like the way you pick up on various different details of the music. For me with Dylan, the lyrics are the things I always focus on and with that in mind, this is my take on some of those tracks you mention:-

I donīt have a problem with a long song per se; for me Joey is the track I most often skip because of itīs repetitive chorus. In contrast, Isis is also a long track, but there isnīt a single line of the lyrics that repeats; thatīs an accomplishment that not many artists attempt, let alone pull off so well.
I love the dark mood and the violin on tracks like Oh, Sister and One More Cup Of Coffee. Shame on you, porkchop , for calling a track a filler when it has lines like this :-
.....I donīt sense satisfaction, nor gratitude or love;
.....your loyalty is not to me, but to the stars above.

Similarly, Sara, Durango, BD Bay all have some great lyrics too.

I didnīt realize Mozambique was written as a little rhyming game with Jaques Levy, but as you say, itīs very much in a lighter style. It doesnīt fit very well into the mood of the album, and I wish theyīd squeezed the song Golden Loom on to the Desire tracklist, as that wouldīve been the perfect transition track between Mozambique and the rest of the album.

Anyway, nice review, porkchop, and welcome to MB. Have you checked out any of the other Dylan threads, btw ?
Did you ever hear of having more than you wanted? So that you couldn’t want anything else and then started looking for something else to want? It seems like we’re always searching for something to satisfy us, and never finding it. - Susan Eloise Hinton, 1967
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