Christmas Eve with “Christmas in my heart”

by Stein Arne Nistad

I must say I feel a little proud these days. I was the first (or possibly the second) journalist in the world who reviewed Christmas In The Heart. I wrote my preliminary review on September 17th. based on the samples housed on for a short period. Unlike Michael Gray and the rest of the Dylan community, I was incredibly positive about the album. After playing the samples twenty or thirty times, I felt like I did understand the true nature of the Christmas In The Heart project. In my review I wrote: ‘

Despite the fact that some of the arrangements and songs definitively is not my ball game, I recognize an underlying quality in almost every one of them. It’s strange, but I feel Dylan’s genius comes true and I believe most of the songs on the record will grow on me. (

Over the next few weeks I observed how the album was written off by critics and Dylan fans around the world – indeed, before it even was released! When the album finally was released, I had no need to change my review, but to reinforce the positive description. In my final review I wrote:

This album is not a new Dylan record. It is a very funny and entertaining Christmas album from Mr. Dylan. He has made a classical Christmas album – in some way or another. This is probably the most interesting Christmas record ever released and Dylan has put a lot of effort and energy in doing this right. I love “Christmas in the Heart” and I tend to define it as a holyday Dylan masterpiece. It‘s that good! ( )

The reviews were more differentiated, but the album received a lot of negative reviews. Christmas In The Heart is obviously a album that you either love or hate. At that time I was thinking Christmas In The Heart might be the best Christmas album ever released. I honestly did not understand what was going on. Had I lost all my critical sense and was I completely mistaken about the project?

Fortunately, things have changed. From being described as a total failure, has Christmas In The Heart received more and more positive reviews! Finally, on Sunday, December 20, 2009 I was kind of Saved. The English writer Michael Gray, the author of Song & Dance Man, The Art Of Bob Dylan and The Bob Dylan Encyclopedia etc. wrote a very good review of the album on his web site:

Christmas In The Heart. OK. Here goes… I love it! And admire it. ( )

Mr. Grey was as I mentioned among the people who had written the album off completely based on the samples published by He might have (as many Dylan fans) been caught by the Kubler-Ross model:

When there is some sort of shock in one’s life, there is a theory that one goes through five stages of grief, also known as the Kubler-Ross model. These stages are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. (Dylan, ‘Christmas In The Heart,’ and the Kubler-Ross model ( ) )

Dylan is a genius, and he is always a step ahead of us. History tends to repeat itself. Dylan was written off so many times. In my blog post Last thought on Christmas In The Heart I wrote:

You either hate or love it. But “Christmas in the Heart” is about far more than emotions. The pieces fit perfectly in the puzzle. Dylan is completing his musical testament. (

I look forward to Christmas Eve with Christmas In The Heart.

Merry Christmas to everybody!

Dette innlegget ble publisert i Bob Dylan, English, Fidelity, Kultur, Musikk, Uncategorized. Bokmerk permalenken.

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