Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan Honoring 50 Years of Amnesty International

I was one happy camper when this made it an appearance in my mailbox the other day.

There were the obvious choices (Joan Baez, Johnny Cash, Adele, Patti Smith, Pete Seeger, etc.).

There were pleasant surprises (The Gaslight Anthem, Evan Rachel Wood, Darren Criss, My Morning Jacket, Jack's Mannequin, Zee Avi etc.).

There were a few eyebrow-raising surprises (Miley Cyrus, really? Kesha, why?).

But I dove right in to listen to how over 80 artists interpreted some of the greatest songs ever written by one of the most influential and legendary musicians ever, in order to raise funds and awareness for one of the biggest international human rights organization in the world.

It seemed as if some artists were channeling the man, Bob Dylan, himself, while others put their own spin on the timeless songs.

There were quite a few never-heard-before-but-immediately-liked people ( Ximena Sarinana [although I wish she had sang Corrina Corrina cause it rhymes with her name!], Raphael Saadiq, etc.).

I was more impressed with some songs than I thought would be (Miley Cyrus, really?).

Some (one) were worse than expected (Kesha, seriously, WHY?!).

And some were, as expected, brilliant (Can you really go wrong with Adele's cover of "Make You Feel My Love". Darren Criss can do no wrong in my eyes. Joan Baez, Patti Smith, and so many others are just plain perfect, I can't even begin to explain their excellence).

But when it all comes down to it, this album is about honoring songs, and the man behind the songs, that have put into music and brought awareness to the fight that Amnesty International has been fighting for decades, the protection of international human rights.

It does not matter if you are a Bob Dylan fan or not, this album features a wide range of musicians, all  wonderful in their own right who can hopefully open up the door for others to becomes fans of the words and message of Dylan and of Amnesty International (but again, Kesha, why?).

And if you are still on the fence, I'll play the guilt card and reiterate the fact that this is for a wonderful cause.

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