Little Maggie from Expecting Rain about the new Dylan record ‘Shadows in the Night’
The way I see it, it’s all the same Dylan, but using different techniques of communication. He touches on this in his recent interview (from AARP). The technique here is an intimate, almost whispering in your ear delivery, where every intake and outtake of breath makes us think he is singing to us individually.
I think Dylan is consciously involved in the technique of singing now more than ever. I don’t think it was something that would have bothered him so much when his voice was younger, but when so little remains of his vocal range, technique is now everything if he is to communicate.
In many ways, Shadows in the Night is an exercise in technique. It’s about the skill of the singer more than any other Bob Dylan record.
The Paste magazine review about ‘Shadows in the Night’:
Dylan is now singing with the voice of the last man standing. It’s a voice that accepts what life has become and moves nimbly and reverently within the grace of the intonation that God has left him with. Louis Armstrong is the only other American singer who has ever communicated as much soul, such complex weather worn textures and colors within such a limited range. But, the appeal of Dylan’s voice isn’t simply that it has a lot of miles on it. Weathered voices are a dime a dozen. Anybody can beat hell out of their vocal chords if they set their minds to it. To be able to sing like Bob Dylan sings on Shadows In The Night is no accident of lifestyle. You have to have something far deeper than that going on to sing like he does here.
What can be said that hasn’t already been said about Shadows In The Night. I have listened to this album at least 3 times and, I, like a lot of Dylanholics are gobsmacked. I read that some even wanted refunds on their Dylan tickets procured over the last 25 years. Bob Dylan’s singing on Shadows in the Night takes you way back to his pre-Christian voice, even earlier. Some have mentioned there is a lot of ‘New Morning’ voice on this album, which I can’t disagree. I have not read as yet one bad review of Shadows and for a very good reason – This album is ridiculously good like a 50 year old bottle of vintage heritage. Let it wash over you, through you and come out a tear-jerking, fragile-like precious porcelain waltzing parade artist in your own living room. Oh and did I mention Dylan’s voice? Man oh man!
The Irish Times hit the Nail on the Head:
Those who complain that Dylan can’t sing are treated to a masterclass in timing, phrasing, nuance and interpretation. Even the cracks in his voice leave a poignant trail.
Stay With Me
January 18th or 19th, I can’t recall which, but Bob Dylan’s second single from his much anticipated Sinatra covers album was released called ‘Stay With Me’. I’m being quite naive since Dylan and company stated clearly this is not a cover of Sinatra songs.
….I don’t see myself as covering these songs in any way. They’ve been covered enough. Buried, as a matter a fact. What me and my band are basically doing is uncovering them. Lifting them out of the grave and bringing them into the light of day.
Bob Dylan in a press release 2015
Dylan has played ‘Stay With Me’ for months as his final song on tour. The symbolic and almost hymn-like features do enrapture an audience willing to appreciate the grandeur of his otherwise meekness but enduring greatness.
Some songs take days, months to become them and Dylan has done it on tour, but not on album. Stay With Me Live ladies and gents:
1. Bob Dylan invents himself one more time – Addicted to Noise
2. Bob Dylan: Shadows in the Night review – pre-rock songs imbued with romantic regret – The Guardian
3. Bob Dylan: Shadows in the Night | Album Review – a sonic masterclass in vulnerability and revelation – The Irish Times
4. Bob Dylan’s Shadows In The Night Receives Critical Raves – PR Newswire