Bob Dylan. What can I say about Dylan that has not already been said since he first appeared on the scene with his 1962 self-titled album? I am not sure I will not say anything worthy of his music. This review is for his second album The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, which gave him all the attention he needed to become a voice for a generation.
Bob Dylan is my Dostoevsky, Charles Dickens and Roald Dahl in music. I have to express what I felt listening to Dylan in books. I remember the first time I had a teacher read Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to me. I felt hope in a better world for myself. I thought I would escape to my own Chocolate Factory. Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield gave me that hope too. A hope that I would grow up and be successful and get away from the evil adults. Dostoevsky showed me that being a good person and looking like an idiot does not matter in the big picture of life. Dylan’s music, unknown to me, except through other artist, is poetry of a time that is not unlike our time today.
Part of me wants to say the albums ends with two weaker songs, but the last song “I Shall Be Free” gives the listener a little bit of humour after all the weighty topics and tears have fallen away. It is sort of like a breath of fresh air or a revival. It reminds us that Dylan is human. He is the preacher man who gives us a sermon from God, but shows us he is one of us and not on a pedestal.
In “Masters of War” he is the God of the Old Testament destroying the wicked sinners. He is saving us from the evil of the world and giving us hope in a better future.
Some of the songs are hard. “A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall” has some of the most provocative lyrics. Dylan is the master and his lyrics are subservient to his commands. His uses them as knives to pierce our hearts with the truths he sees it.
Heard one person starve, I heard many people laughin’
Heard the song of a poet who died in the gutter
Heard the sound of a clown who cried in the alley…
…I met a young girl, she gave me a rainbow
I met one man who was wounded in love
I met another man who was wounded with hatred
And it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard
It’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall.
I feel like I found a friend who has been missing from my life for years. He was there the whole time, but I ignored him because of all the other shiny things around were distracting me. I might be a new fan of Bob Dylan. I will be listening to his other albums soon. 9.5/10