Bob Dylan 101: Oh Mercy | The Official Bob Dylan Site
 
 
 

Bob Dylan 101: Oh Mercy

Oh Mercy – Columbia – 1989

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“As soon as you’re awake, you’re trained to take what looks like the easy way out.” We live in a political world and Bob has clearly had enough. Perhaps it’s the tense working relationship between Bob Dylan and Daniel Lanois that lends acrimony as well as a somewhat uneasy, but completely inviting synergy to the projects they work on together. This is a great album to listen to at night, all the electric lights have gone out and even the candles are threatening to extinguish themselves. Listen to the sax toward the end of “Where Teardrops Fall” and how it leads into “Everything Is Broken”, one chapter ending as another one flawlessly begins. Only Dylan can make the breaking down of society sound frightening as hell and inviting at the same time. The harp on “Everything Is Broken” makes one feel like we’re dancing in the red barn tonight. “Ring Them Bells” is an invocation that puts everything into perspective while making it quite clear it’s time to answer to a higher calling. This record was recorded in New Orleans and all you have to do is hear the crickets chirpin’ during “Man In The Long Black Coat” to feel this ancient city pour from the grooves of this record like shooting stars from another world. “It’s the last temptation, the last account, the last time you might hear the sermon on the mount. The last radio is playing.”

Charles Cicirella