Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Bob Dylan: World Gone Wrong [Columbia, 1993]
Dylan's second attempt to revive the folk music revival while laying down a new record without writing any new songs is eerie and enticing. He cherishes the non sequiturs, sudden changes of heart, and received or obscure blank spots in these buried songs--all usages he's long since absorbed into his own writing because he believes they evoke a world that defies rationalization. Me, I'm not so sure it doesn't just seem that way because there's no way we can be intimate with their worlds anymore. And while only a crank could resist his liner notes, that doesn't mean it isn't cranky in the extreme to hold, for instance, that the two-timing aristo who gets his in "Love Henry" is "modern corporate man off some foreign boat, unable to handle his `psychosis' responsible for organizing the Intelligentsia," und so weiter. We do not live in "the New Dark Ages." And if we did, Dylan would call out for rationalization right quick. A-