“Christmas in the Heart” Bob Dylan album review
Imagine it is Christmas Eve. The whole family is sitting around the fireplace with joy and happiness burning in their hearts. Then, unsuspectingly, your grandfather grabs his guitar for a little family sing-along. Your cousins and you smirk and whisper to each other, “I hope he doesn’t have a heart-attack!” Your mother smacks you in the back of the head and tells you to support your grandfather. He may be old and his voice is extremely coarse from the years of smoking more than just cigarettes but he is still your grandfather.
Fortunately for you, your grandfather is Bob Dylan. We have all heard the stories of a Bob Dylan performance. The general conception is that his voice is just shot and terrible. He is much to old to be out there trying to sing his songs that he sung over 50-years ago. However, it is still Bob Dylan. Talk to any musician and they will tell you that Bob Dylan is one of their musical influences.
On October 16th, Bob Dylan released an all Christmas carol album by the name of “Christmas In The Heart.” Before the album was released it was already receiving negative criticism by the entire industry. The idea of Bob Dylan trying to sing on an album is just plain silly. When a man’s voice starts to sound like he is gasping for air on every note he should just stop, right?
This is wrong. Wrong and pretty mean. It’s Bob Dylan. Give the man the respect he deserves. The first song on the album is “Here Comes Santa Claus.” Upon hearing it you can’t help but chuckle to yourself, naturally, since that is a giddy song in the first place. The image of ol’ Bobby Dylan in a Santa suit bouncing up and down comes to mind. Throughout the song he receives some help from back up singers. Still, it does sound silly.
However, he then gets into the more appealing Christmas songs, the ones that truly touch our hearts like “Do You Hear What I Hear,” a song about the birth of baby Jesus. Of course, “O’ Come All Ye Faithful” is just an awesome song in general. The Andrew’s sisters come into the song to take over a verse and then Bob Dylan joins in harmony with them. It is not the most impressive piece of art you have ever heard, but would you rather go to church and hear the choir sing these songs or have Bob Dylan in your living room? I think we all know the answer to that one.
The true beauty in this album sits on the fact that all U.S. royalties from sales of these recordings will be donated to Feeding America. This will guarantee more then four million meals, providing 1.4 million people in need during the holiday season. So now thinking back on it, Bob Dylan doesn’t look too silly in a Santa Clause outfit. Bob Dylan is a great and generous man. With this enormous act of kindness he sheds light on hunger epidemic the surrounds our nation and the world. Despite the fact the album doesn’t give us the beloved sounds of “Maggies Farm,” the album will hit us deep in our heart, reminding us that to give is truly better then to receive.