Album: Various Artists

I'm Not There
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The Independent Culture

As if having half-a-dozen actors playing Bob Dylan wasn't enough, this two-CD soundtrack to Todd Haynes' Bob biopic explores further the singer's multi-faceted character by using about 30 artists' versions of Dylan songs, only one of whom is Dylan himself, enigmatic as ever on the film's title track. By far the best covers are those on which Calexico serve as backing group, particularly Jim James's haunting "Goin' to Acapulco" and Iron & Wine's "Dark Eyes", a beautifully textured whirlpool of vibes, droning fiddle and percussion. The tracks featuring the Million Dollar Bashers are more faithful but less interesting, the best being Eddie Vedder's "All Along the Watchtower".

Sufjan Stevens transforms "Ring Them Bells" from memorial lament to religious celebration, then tacks on a Zappa-esque horn arrangement for good measure. The Hold Steady and Yo La Tengo evoke the stridency of electric-era Dylan on rousing versions of, respectively, "Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window" and "I Wanna Be Your Lover", but Antony Hegarty's vocal gimmick already sounds past its sell-by date on "Knockin' on Heaven's Door".



Download this: 'Dark Eyes', 'Goin' to Acapulco', 'Ring Them Bells', 'I Wanna Be Your Lover'

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