Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Bob Dylan in the 80s: Volume One [ATO, 2014]
Direct comparison to Maria Muldaur's and Coulson Dean McGuinness Flint's go-to Dylan covers redounds favorably to this verkakte concept album in which young Americana survivors of varying status and profile interpret stray favorites from the cheesiest period of the great man's catalogue. The anonymity of the multi-artist format turns the fortysomething Dylan into a gifted hack waxing catchy on automatic rather than a pompous preacher instructing the faithful on Dristan. The abracadabra recedes as the selection progresses. But don't miss "Series of Dreams" down at track 13. And then check out the original--the key version of which the preacher, user-friendly as e'er, buried on The Bootleg Series, Vol. 8, and is a damn masterpiece. A-