At points Greil Marcus’ digressive style can seem like nervy brilliance, at others, idle whimsy. What ennobles the book is the critic’s love for his underlying subject: the soulful search for a truer America.
The point of Bob Dylan’s project is emotional rather than definitive: to probe the power of song to influence us, make us feel, and ultimately transform us.
It’s a work that shifts gears often, which is not in itself a bad idea for a book about a famed shape-shifter.
At 80 years old, Bob Dylan sounds imperturbable and fierce.
The book’s main contention is clearly correct: Dylan’s lyrics aren’t everything, and his vocal delivery is eminently important. But, according to Larry Starr, every period is a golden one, and the most minor effort deserves major respect.
Arts Fuse writers continue their countdown of great music celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. This month’s list includes such big names as Bob Dylan, ZZ Top, The Who, The Beach Boys, and George Rochberg.
Bob Dylan’s new song not only articulates the madness that undermines the American experience, but supplies a certain kind of corrective, a tonic, for that kind of insanity.
But really, what is a Bob Dylan concert these days if not a case study in transformation?
It’s worth pointing out that Martin Scorsese’s documentaries, especially his music-based ones, can be as powerful as his fictional work.
“I see him as the greatest artist of the English language, it happens to be in song, of the second half of the 20th century.