Those who pay attention to the sidebars will notice Bob Dylan’s Christmas In The Heart firmly ensconced in the December playlist. When I took this with us to Whinfell Forest earlier in the month, Anna took some convincing – isn’t his voice totally cracked? But after a few listens she began to appreciate its warmth, if not Bobby’s wizened pipes. A similar conversion has gone on over at Michael Gray’s blog – entirely cynical about Dylan’s late output, Gray welcomed news of Christmas In The Heart with a sourness so pronounced that, when he learned all the album’s proceeds were being devoted to chairty, he threatened giving up Dylan blogging for a while in penance. Yet upon a listen or two, even Gray can’t deny the album’s strange allure:
Everything people have written about its authenticity of spirit, its clear sincerity, seems exactly right. And though this sincerity means, for the 68-year-old Bob Dylan, harking back to the musical heralds of the 1940s-50s, a blog comment contributor was right to say that there is no big orchestra, no florid choir, no grandiosity.
Belatedly, here’s to Christmas miracles.