Bob Dylan/Christmas In The Heart

Christmas In The Heart is Bob Dylan’s 34th studio Album and first of Christmas songs. Recording many traditional songs, despite his Jewish background, Dylan says these were the songs he remembers when he was growing up. The release hit #1 on the Billboard Holiday Chart, #10 on the Rock Chart and #23 overall.

Here Comes Santa Claus—-Ok….this is rather odd…..Dylan sounds even rougher than usual…thge song is bright and shiny in the musical and background sound…then Dylan enters the fray with a voice that is almost scary. This is interesting.

Do You Hear What I Hear?—-This is better, but Dylan really sounds like he needs to clear his throat and gargle…this is not your parent’s Dylan…of course then he would never dream of recording a release of Christmas songs. The music is classic and what you would expect….the voice is almost shockingly frail to me.

Winter Wonderland—-The music is like a vintage Lawrence Welk show…the voice is a run over and abused Burl Ives. It is shocking to me how rough Dylan sounds…perhaps i have not paid enough attention. This is lackluster and almost painful to hear. Am I the only one disappointed?

Hark The Herald Angels Sing—-This is more acceptable to me, as Dylan delivers a performance that is full of emotion and vocal inflection. The music is very quiet, while Bob is clear out front….when he strains for the high notes it is the Dylan I remember…this is very nice.

I’ll Be Home For Christmas—-This is nice…Dylan finds a comfortable and emotive tone and delivers the song exactly as you need it to be when you are alone!!!! Yes…I am alone…ohhhhhI digress. The music is piano and string based and delivers a nice backdrop to the vocal that is so relaxed and comfortable you listen to this one again.

Little Drummer Boy—-Here again, Dylan falls into that familiar nasal that makes you fall in love with his sound all over again. This is wonderfully delivered…the musoic is classic and beautiful…..the voice is emotive and relaxed….first listen I hated this…second listen I like it a little more.

The Christmas Blues—-I’m not crazy about this….the honky tonk sound of the song reminds me of smoky bars where christmas is forgotten…wow…maybe that is the whole purpose of the song….this is kind of nice on second listen. Dylan sounds great.

O Come All Ye Faithful [Adeles Fidelis]—-Funny to hear Dylan sing in a foreign language, but it manages to work for him. He finds a higher register that forces him from the comfortable gravel voice and the result is wonderful!!!! This is a nice rendition when Dylan actually sings…I love this rendition…

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas—-Heavy on the Jazz, Dylan falls into a comfortable range that you can’t get away from. This is remarkably good…I want to run out and by Dylan like crazy just to see everything else there is. I really enjoy his version of this song…just bluesy and jazzy enough to make me swoon.

Must Be Santa—-WHATEVER!!!! This is some huge polka style song that makes no sense what so ever.

Silver Bells—-This for the most part falls flat for me….Dylan is too comfortable at his lower register…when he does not stretch his voice I can only believe that any one can record a record these days. the music track is a nice countrified rendition of the original that really appeals to me, but this for the most part is just bad.

The First Noel—-Even when bolstered by huge waves of background voices, Dylan never manages to catch the true feeling of the song and I am left empty rather than filled with awe. The production of this song…the way the voices strongly contrast with each other is bad…the tone should have been n=more low key and relaxed rather than big and over encompassing.

Christmas Island—-This is some kind of perverted Island style song that does not gel with me at all. This is like an old, very bad Elvis Presley movie…a waste of time and my hearing.

The Christmas Song—-Ohhhhh……this is just bad. I do not like this…I do not like Green Eggs & Ham….Sam I Am……NEXT!!!!!

O Little Town Of Bethlehem—-This falls back into the relaxed and gravelly delivery that Dylan began the release with…by now we are accustomed to it and it is more irritant than novelty. the musical delivery is lush and polished…only the vocal lets you down. Dylan sounds his age and perhaps he should just take all of his money and relax for a while…and quit smoking damn it!!

* 1/2 out of 5


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