Women + Country

Studio Album by released in 2010
Women + Country's tracklist:
Nothing but the Whole Wide World
Down on Our Own Shield
Lend a Hand
We Don't Live Here Anymore
Everybody's Hurting
Yonder Come the Blues
Holy Rollers for Love
Truth for a Truth
They've Trapped Us Boys
Smile When You Call Me That
Standing Eight Count

Women + Country review

Jakob Dylan, the example of self-faithfulness

Jakob Dylan is the son of Bob Dylan and a true continuer of his generation for there is almost no place for new musical trends in his creative work but the good old American rock and white blues never fail to reign firmly. Of course one can always find difference between the son’s and the father’s manner of performance, and quite significant one, and yet the general tendencies remain absolutely identical. Although many would agree that Dylan-junior’s vocal skills are somewhat more modest than those of his renowned parent, the fact is that he has released a number of successful albums with his band The Wallflowers and conquered the hearts of millions of country, white blues and classic rock fans. Therefore the release of his debut solo work Seeing Things in 2008 was taken with curiosity, hope and big interest, and the audience had not been disappointed. This year Jakob releases his sophomore solo effort Woman + Country, and it undoubtedly proves to be a great example of self-faithfulness: Dylan has not only preserved his favorite stylistics but has also managed to underline its best sides with a brilliant team of other musicians.

Woman + Country is full of most pleasant harmonious moments

Jakob Dylan’s expressive performance is one of the key moments on the record Woman + Country. Yet it is far from the only one. Besides the artist himself vocalists Neko Case and Kelly Hogan have taken part in the recording as well as producer T-Bone Burnett. The latter has been part of The Wallflowers’ 1996 album Bringing Down The Horse and knows well the peculiarities of Jakob’s singing, so the new record turns out to be stylish, qualified and full of most pleasant harmonious moments. One can make sure of that from the very first sounds of the measured opening composition Nothing But The Whole Wide World: Jakob’s soft acoustic guitar and Case and Hogan’s backing vocals tell of an all-embracing love. One of the album’s best pieces is Down On Our Own Shield – a truly rich instrument component is really worth admiration, and a mellow vocal part only underlines its merits. Closer to the middle of the record the emotions get tenser and some more sullen mood appears in the lyrics. For example the song We Don't Live Here Anymore with a swaying rhythm makes the listener think of the world we live in and the composition Everybody's Hurting built upon the contrast of rough percussion and a gentle violin can be rightfully considered one of Dylan-junior’s best creations so far. Another worthy number here is Truth For A Truth for it combines a really catchy tune, vivid vocals and deeply thought meaning, and the album closer is Standing Eight Count with sad tubes adding some piquancy to it.

A never-ending professional growth

Compared to the debut solo effort this Woman + Country is much closer to Dylan’s earlier works because of the production. The album Seeing Things was not appreciated by all Jakob’ creative work fans exactly because the main stake had been made at the singer’s voice then, which made the entire landscape too monotonous. Most probably, realizing that the artist hast turned to Burnett keeping in mind that he is able to recreate the atmosphere of The Wallflowers’ best albums. Yet Woman + Country is still a solo work, it only differs from the previous one in the way of its form due to the appearance of female backing vocals. Yet the meaning of songs is generally becoming deeper and there is more love in all of them. Perhaps Jakob is observing the life around him and tries to put everything he sees into his songs not neglecting his own thoughts. On the whole the album’s 11 songs fit fine into the canvas of Jakob Dylan’s creative work witnessing the artist’s never-ending professional growth. That is why Woman + Country is a treatment for all of his fans and a worthy contribution to any rock collection.

Alexandra Zachernovskaya (15.04.2010)
Rate review4.80
Total votes - 41

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