Bob Dylan: you either love him or you hate him. With his nasally vocals, it’s quite easy to grow tired of such a voice within a few moments. On the contrary, his folksy songwriting capabilities couldn’t be encapsulated if he were to sing differently. This legend, a recent Nobel Prize winner, has been producing music for the last 56 years, although he has spent most of that time in hiding and staying out of the limelight. No matter what your stance on Bob Dylan is, it’s hard not to respect him and appreciate what his musical dexterity did for the music movement of the 1960s.
“Nashville Skyline” is Dylan’s ninth studio album, released in April of 1969. He channeled the sweet country-folk sound in the production, truly casting a warm and down-to-earth aura throughout the entire 10 tracks. Truthfully, Bob Dylan doesn’t sound quite himself as he sings, but that was due to the fact that during the time he worked on the album, he had temporarily quit smoking. The smooth, charming vocals are a bit more pleasant than his usual raspy, back-of-the-throat tone. Something about the depth of Dylan’s singing on “Lay, Lady, Lay,” which is a favorite of many, calms the nerves. In addition to Dylan’s vocal expression, the instrumentation also adds to the overall atmosphere of the album. His famous harmonica playing skills aren’t blaring over the other instruments on the tracks, a refreshing change in Bobby D’s catalog.
Overall, the experience of listening to “Nashville Skyline” is a homey, heartwarming one, to say the least. It was a different approach to how Bob Dylan had made a name for himself at the time. He struck gold with this album, creating another masterpiece. Have a listen, drink some warm tea, and let the music speak for itself.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.