Quick Review (LP): The Times They Are A-Changin’ by Bob Dylan

bob dylan the times they are a-changin' Bob Dylan
The Times They Are A-Changin’
Capitol; 1964

My Rating: B-

Best Tracks: “The Times They Are A-Changin'”, “Boots of Spanish Leather”, “The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll”, “The Restless Farewell”

I do wonder if this record is our document of Bob Dylan getting traditional folk out of his system. After all, it produced only one true classic, the title track, and even that song comes off as a re-write of “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall.” The focal point of the songs is undoubtedly the lyrics, which are, for the most part, obsessed with the social injustice of the age. And it is a stark record, for the most part completely devoid of any sense of humor, and to a great extent that makes it pretty forgettable. Even “Boots of Spanish Leather”, one of the album’s best tracks, fails to impress, generously borrowing from the melody of “Girl From The North Country.” Other standout tracks march by with conviction, but in all honesty I still have a hard time distinguishing “Hattie Carroll” from “Hollis Brown.” I suppose for traditional folk purists, this must be a pretty fabulous effort from ol’ Bobby. Unfortunately, this is not the Dylan that butters my bread, for the good man protesteth too much.

Wikipedia article
AMG review
Blogcritics review