Style: alt-Western Americana comparable to Son Volt, Josh Ritter and, yes, dad Bob
Top tracks: "Nothing But the Whole Wide World," "Everybody's Hurting," "Standing Eight Count"
For his second solo project, the former Wallflowers frontman enlists producer T-Bone Burnett, who introduces a backing blanket of pedal-steel, fiddles and horns that wraps Dylan's smoky vocals like wind dancing across prairie grass. The pairing paints rural soundscapes that conjure sun-scorched barnwood, rusted machinery, and human resignation flint-faced to a sweeping horizon. It's a rich patchwork for Dylan's poetic storytelling, and he deals with epic themes: women, country, and God's place in these earth-stained tales of humanity's struggles. Hope glimmers, but is it merely a mirage on cracked asphalt? It's worth this exceptional audio journey to find out.
Copyright © 2010 Christianity Today. Click for reprint information.