Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Creepin' Under Your Skin: Jakob Dylan's Women and Country

This album creeps in under your skin from first note to last. Starting with a great song called “Nothing But the Whole Wide World,” Jakob Dylan is heading for the vast expanse of the American West, but not out of nostalgia, but rather like taking an opportunity, or a chance, at self-discovery. Women + Country contains songs that are mature, honest and unpretentious. On the track, “Everybody’s Hurting,” one gets right into the dirt and grime of labour-intensive work in the fields. Dylan works the land of relationships on “Smile When You Call Me That” presenting a story of a tough breakup: "I’m drunk and you’re insane/I can’t quit and you won’t change." But the storyteller accepts full responsibility for his actions and cries out for her return. The 11 tracks on Dylan’s second solo album create an exquisite journey through space and time; stories of relationships with women, nature and God. It’s a confidant, thoughtful record beautifully produced by T-Bone Burnett whose sublime touch has done wonders for Dylan’s compositions. Clearly, Burnett has made a difference by creating sonic textures appropriate for both the song and the singer. Jakob Dylan deserves no less.

-- John Corcelli is an actor, musician, writer, broadcaster and theatre director.

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