Communism has always been viewed as a terrible thing by the American public. Most of us seem to view it as a form of government that was made to take everything from the working and middle classes, to help the wealthier of society. And what Communism has become, it's pretty easy to associate evil with it. Communism is the complete practice of equality, to the point where everyone, no matter what their status in society, are completely equal in rights, money, and property with everyone else. The government had promised to be equal among their comrades, but their personal pursuit for power and happiness prevented that, to the point where they had to lie to the public and win them over through propaganda and terror/ Basic human instinct prevented Communism from ever being productive. The irony in this is that the Soviet Union rose and fell because of its own supporters. And now, Communism is viewed as a bad omen. And when Bob Dylan made his music with intentions of rising against the establishment for what he thought was right, he was impugned with attacks holding him as a Communist, because of his outspoken, political approach to folk music. What the *** is wrong with people?
Robert Zimmerman (a.k.a. Bob Dylan) is a genius. His minimalist approach to folk music is just simplistic enough to work, and his good boy voice with the cynical lyrics are what he's famous for, while he strums his guitar with a harmonica fastened to his face. On 'Bringing It All Back Home', Bob Dylan furthered his lack of regard for what people think of him. His fans loved his gentle folk and acoustic songs, so he went to blues and electric guitar and harmonica. And when his fans booed him in concerts and boycotted him, instead of giving them what they want, he gave them a warm, nice big "*** you!" and turned the electric guitar up louder. Bringing It All Back Home is a masterpiece of that attitude- Of bluesy folk songs that taste like ma's home cooking. Every song on here is worth listening to for a week. Between the harmonica solos and acoustic strumming and leading into electric foreplay, and Bob's sarcastic lyrics from his whinny voice are enough to hook you. What really captures the essence of the album, in my opinion, is Dylan's lyrics. He sings about love, he sings about hate, but instead of personal demons, Bob Dylan attacks everyone else's loves and fears. His mocking of religion (Gates of Eden) or avenging the harsh employers (Maggie's Farm) or even family (Subterranean Homesick Blues) are poetry in and of themselves. And that attitude alone is enough to hook me.
Musically, Bringing it All Back Home is dissimilar to most of Bob Dylan’s other albums. There is electric guitar, there is harmonica, and there is pessimistic vulgarity. While he was liked for the soothing acoustic guitar and thoughtful lyrics that provoke images of beauty and euphoria, Dylan gets down and dirty for a battle royal with America on this album. Nice shocker for all those quiet Dylan listeners out there. He strums his acoustic throughout the whole album, though. It wouldn’t be his music without the acoustic. But the big new addition to his music is the bluesy electric guitar with the deep delta blues harmonica technique. So how different is this album from other Dylan stuff? Pretty different, but it’s crazy enough to work and doesn’t sound like anyone else but Bob Dylan. The song structures are simplistic, and his lyrics are sardonic, but his voice and emotions further the satirical state of the album. His lyrical structures rhyme quite often and he has this nasal honk in his voice that is just a sonic hyperbole for freedom of speech. In Bob Dylan’s 115th Dream, he even starts the song in a burst of laughter, and asking for a redo. Nothing stresses the rawness of his music than hearing the man himself cracking up in the middle of a take, then using that same take as the final cut on the album.
Bringing It All Back Home is definitely not what you’d expect from Robert Zimmerman. Not to say that this album is better than Bob Dylan’s other, less atypical albums, because it’s not. It’s simply just as good as every other album he’s made. Freewheelin' is a better starting place for Dylan newbies, however. It’s a more nonchalant, typical, and less controversial side of Dylan’s music that won't piss off your conservative Republican family. In short, this album is much more aimed at liberals and nihilists than the everyday Bush supporter. But it is still a damn good album, and a fun, jingly listen, whether you share the same political views or not. Who said political music had to suck, huh? Well, maybe cynicism coming from Green Day might suck, but when Bob Dylan attacked the government, he did it in a way that would make every fan of his *** themselves. Maybe that's why it owns so hard.
Ent, you've misunderstood Communism quite a bit, judging by your first paragraph. Not that it really matters, but quite a bit of what you said just ain't right. Very good review though, that excepted. I love this album...one of Dylan's finest, and Subterranean Homesick Blues is a ludicrously good song.
simply the most influential artist of the 20th century.Bob Dylan changed the way people looked at the establishment. He pushed the boundries of 60's popular music and folk music.Aside from being a musical genius , the man is also a gifted writer and i would recomend "Bob Dylan's Chronicals volume 1" to any one . In short the most important man of his era and music today would not be the same if he had not decided that music was the life for him.A true great.