The Independent - Dylanesque - Album Review - Sat 3rd Mar

Thumbnail - Click for a larger version

by Andy Gill

For several of these 11 cover versions, Ferry adopts some classic Dylan musical tropes, with organ fattening the melodies and gusts of harmonica wheezing abstractly here and there - but he still delivers them in that oddly aloof, mannered way that all but freeze-dries whatever song he's covering. The songs that fare best are those of least moment, lyrically: his languid wheedling is well suited to the romantic pleading of material like "Baby Let Me Follow You Down", "If Not For You" and "Make You Feel My Love", but hopelessly unequal to sterner stuff such as "The Times They Are A-Changin'" and especially "Gates of Eden", where one of Dylan's darkest dystopian landscapes is rendered almost as some mystical Neverland, viewed with wistful fondness. And rarely has the prospect of death been regarded with such blithe equanimity as Ferry marshals for "Knockin' On Heaven's Door". Only on "Positively 4th Street" does he manage something both different and effective, replacing the original's spiteful bile with something closer to crestfallen resignation; quite an achievement given the tone of the lyric.

Previous Article | Next Article