For those who don’t know (even though it’s obvious just by looking at pictures of both of them), Jakob Dylan is Bob Dylan’s son. Also, for those who don’t know, Jakob Dylan was (is?) the lead singer of the hit 90s band The Wallflowers, a band that I really don’t mind so much.
I don’t love them, I don’t hate them, I just kind of appreciate them sometimes (okay, mostly just three songs off of their most popular album, 1996’s Bringing Down the Horse). So maybe the only qualification I have to review this album is my great affection for Bob Dylan. And maybe because of this affection I have, I see this album, titled, Women and Country (is that like horse and country?), as a son’s monumental attempt to copy his father’s legendary folk music. Maybe, maybe, maybe.
Too bad the songs aren’t nearly as good as anything his father put out! Okay, maybe I’m being too harsh: the album functions as a lovely lullaby for anyone who is looking to conk out in oh, say, a span of 1-10 minutes. I’m literally falling asleep as I’m writ… as I’m writ… as I’m writing this. I’m not even entirely sure what song is supposed to be the “hit single” here, so I’m going to make an educated guess, and go with the song Nothing But the Whole Wide World which strangely features the album’s title “women and country” in the line “women and country on my mind”; hey guys, I think I just found the theme for the entire album!
While the album could have some kind of appeal for fans of country music, I was looking for a little more alternative, “Wallflower-ish” stuff, like the Jakob Dylan I semi-know. The whole album reminded me of a big tumbleweed rolling through the desert. (Note: I don’t know if I’m normal). All of the songs sounded exactly the same to me, except for the third track, Lend a Hand, which was a bizarre mix of big horns and annoying lyrics like, “I roll my sleeves up, I hold back the dam, I fill these bags with sand, every young boy, woman, and every man, got to lend a hand.” I don’t really get it, and besides I’m too busy yawning to care.
The only thing that I can say for Dylan is that his voice is incredibly soothing. On tracks such as Truth for a Truth, I almost want to like the song because of his nice, soft voice. But then I hear the chorus which is rampant of clichés like, “Eye for an eye, truth for a truth, here I lie, my arms around you” and the next verse which talks about wagons and buttoning up coats (I’m not making this up). Other “highlights” include the creepy We Don’t Live Here Anymore which features lines about shapes of sycamores and cotton fields (anyone else think that he just went on thesaurus.com and typed in the word “country?”), They’ve Trapped Us Boys and Yonder Come The Blues whose titles alone made me fall off my chair laughing (I just kept hearing the words, “them there hills” over and over again in my head,) and final track Standing Eight Count, which features the albums’ 12th-ish mention of random bottles. If you want an album that reminds you of a long, annoying, painful voyage in a covered wagon on the Oregon Trail, this is the album for you. 1.5!