November 29, 2002

One of my favorite albums of 2002 was released earlier this month to very little fanfare: Robyn Sings, Robyn Hitchcock's collection of Dylan covers. I'm a big Dylan fan and a somewhat-big Hitchcock fan (more Robyn himself than the Soft Boys, although Nextdoorland is really starting to click with me), so I find this release doubly exciting. One of the nicest surprises on here is "Not Dark Yet," perhaps the best track on Bob's otherwise disappointing Time Out of Mind -- I found Daniel Lanois' production on that record unbearably pompous and verging on self-parody, and Hitchcock's simple gtr-vox cover redeems the song by rearranging it to showcase some of Dylan's most personal, bitter lyrics ("Well my sense of humanity has gone down the drain/Behind every beautiful thing there's been some kind of pain").

Another highlight: the similar treatment given "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue," reminding me of Hitchcock's stark, dead-of-winter ballads on Eye and I Often Dream of Trains.