Review: Melancholy Mood, Bob Dylan (Japan Tour «Fallen Angels» promotion EP)

FallenEpThis EP promotes Bob Dylan’s Japan 2016 tour, and contains four new songs. They are all from Dylan’s new album «Fallen Angels» scheduled for release in May.  First of all I have to disappoint those who expect a real new «Bob Dylan» album. The songs on this EP continues Dylan’s «Shadows in the night» Sintara Project and contains four covers.  Dylan is the lead singer in a dense and coherent band.  The band offers sophisticated musical arrangements. A steel guitar, a base and a singel violin replaces the strings and horns sections.

Rumors tell that «Fallen Angels» is from the same recording session as «Shadows in the night». Nevertheless, I feel that Dylan moves in a slightly new direction, judged from the four songs on the EP. They all seems more sophisticated and refined compared to the songs on «Shadows in the night». The band seems to have developed the songs on the road and present themselves as more coherent and safer. The arrangements are subdued and beautiful in its simplicity.

The title track «Melancholy mood» (YouTube) starts with a long guitar intro, which merge into a slow «ball room» version of the song. Dylan’s vocal is at least as good as on “Shadows”. If there is a talk of hoarseness, it is manifested as an underlying rustic feeling not as his ability to sing.

«All or nothing at all» is subdued and simple with Dylan’s voice in the center. The musicians contributes with a beautiful and detailed musical landscape with many musical details.

«Come rain or come shine» opens  with a bass and guitar “string arrangement”. This version is far better than the live version I heard in Oslo in 2015. Dylan’s vocal is magnificent and it is obvious that he respects and is in love with this kind of music.

The last song «That old black magic” stands out on this EP and starts with soft brushes on drums and cymbals. The song has a higher pace and is rhythmic close to perfect. Dylan’s timing is spot on and the result is a song that swings and is hard to resist.

Based on the four songs on this EP «Fallen Angels» is a straight follow up to  «Shadows in the night». We are talking about a new collection of covers. Those of us who liked “Shadows” we will probably love «Fallen Angels». The album seems to be more of the same, albeit in a more developed and aesthetic version. I personally look forward to the «complete» Fallen Angels.

Stein Arne Nistad

This is an automated translation of a Norwegian “Fidelity Magazine” article

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