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Music  |  Reviews

Bob Dylan: Christmas in the Heart

[Columbia]

October 15, 2009  |  9:00am
Bob Dylan: <em>Christmas in the Heart</em>

That creepy guy from the Victoria’s Secret commercial has a Christmas present for you

With visions of dollar signs dancing in their heads, record companies greet the holiday season with a stocking stuffed with cheery, cheesy Christmas music that rehashes the same old chestnuts with the same old sense of obligation. Bob Dylan is the last person you’d expect to jump Santa’s bandwagon, what with his old-coot voice and ornery disposition, but here he comes with his first holiday album. Musically, it’s wonderfully bad; conceptually, it’s just wonderful. Singing like he’s clearing his throat, Dylan adds a cornpone hick accent to the Latin lyrics of “Adeste Fidelis” and gets especially froggy on the closing amen on “O Little Town of Bethlehem.” He sounds so out place on songs like “Silver Bells” and “Little Drummer Boy,” especially with the super-chipper backing vocals right out a Norman Rockwell painting. That lump-of-coal contrast is usually hilarious, which makes Christmas in the Heart a gift that keeps on giving.

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