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Album Review
Women and Country

Women and Country
by Jakob Dylan

Rating

Review Date
27th April 2010
Reviewed by
Gareth Meade

As soon as this album begins, itís obvious that Jakob Dylan is Bob Dylanís son. Of course, everyone knows that, but for the first few seconds of ĎNothing But The Whole Wide Worldí, it actually sounds like we should care. However, as quickly as youíve cocked your eyebrow in surprise, itíll just as quickly drop down to its original position once the song digresses into middle of the road mediocrity.

The main problem with Women and Country, apart from how safe it plays out, is that Jakob Dylan doesnít comfortably fit the persona of a weather beaten troubadour; no matter how many double bass, lap steel or shuffling snare drum players he surrounds his unremarkable voice with. Take for example the line ďIím richer than a poor man should beĒ, from penultimate track ĎSmile When You Call Me Thatí. No matter what kind of character Dylan is trying to evoke, it just isnít believable.

So in case you were left wondering, this album does transport us to the country, but it keeps us at a safe distance rather than allowing you to feel the untamed land beneath your feet. In simpler terms, this is more The Gambler than The Times They Are A Changiní. Things do manage to get interesting here and there though, such as on ĎLend A Handí, where all thatís missing is the gravelly voice of Tom Waits. Similarly with ĎWe Donít Live Here Anymoreí, the song has promise but is missing a credible vocalist to fulfil it. No matter how much Dylan sounds like Springsteen on the song, he most certainly isnít.

Basically, there is nothing offensive about this album, but there is nothing particularly exciting either. In the background, it works as a competent void filler, you might even find yourself turning it up at times. But itís unlikely that itíll be long before something else dominates your attention and you find yourself turning it down again, or turning it off altogether.






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