<em>Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan</em>
Courtesy Photo

Seventy-three Bob Dylan songs, ranging from perennials like “Blowing in the Wind” to deep tracks like “Senor,” performed by 80 artists, from pop stars like Miley Cyrus and Ke$ha to alt-rock acts like My Morning Jacket and My Chemical Romance, grace this four-disk, value-priced release honoring Amnesty International’s 50th anniversary. The result is a musical carnival of sorts; not an unfamiliar image to Dylan, who frequently employs carnival and circus imagery in his lyrics. The tracks are a mixed bag, with hits and near misses throughout, as might be expected with a collection this large and eclectic. Cyrus is a pleasant surprise with a fine interpretation of “You’re Going to Make Me Lonesome When You Go,” while My Chemical Romance make hash of “Desolation Row.” Tom Morello and the Nightwatchman, Patti Smith, and Bettye LaVette are among the other standouts. But, the real revelation of the set is the chance to hear Dylan’s poetic lyrics in fresh settings from new voices. In the final track, Dylan himself tackles “Chimes of Freedom” and, as John Lennon once famously joked, “passes the audition” … with flying colors.


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