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TAS Rated 4/5 Music, 4/5 Sonics in the September 2021 Issue of The Absolute Sound!
Chrissie Hynde recorded covers of nine Bob Dylan songs while locked down during the coronavirus pandemic, with some help from her Pretenders bandmate James Walbourne.
"A few weeks into lockdown last year, James sent me the new Dylan track, 'Murder Most Foul,'" Hynde said in a statement. "Listening to that song completely changed everything for me. I was lifted out of this morose mood that I'd been in. I remember where I was sitting the day that Kennedy was shot - every reference in the song. Whatever Bob does, he still manages somewhere in there to make you laugh because as much as anything, he's a comedian. He's always funny and always has something to say. I called James and said, 'Let's do some Dylan covers,' and that's what started this whole thing."
A documentary on the making of the album, titled 'Tomorrow Is A Long Time', is planned for release on Sky Arts on May 24, 2021, Bob Dylan's 80th birthday.
The arrangements are simple, often just Hynde's voice and her and Walbourne's guitars, and the focus is firmly on her voice. Sounding smart, tough, thoughtful, and a little bit sexy, Hynde's vocals have always been strong and evocative, and she knows how to make her delivery work in favor of Dylan's lyrics.... Hynde the Songwriter clearly understands what makes these songs click, and uses that knowledge to take Hynde the Chanteuse through a handful of compelling performances, bringing color and shade to Dylan's imagery and reinforcing the strengths of his wordplay. Hynde's confidence and intuition fill out these songs beautifully, and if the backings are simple, they confirm that while he's most acclaimed as a lyricist, Dylan knows how to write a great melody, and Hynde and Walbourne honor those as well....Hynde's takes on Dylan's songs are savvy and satisfying, and she's more than done right by one of her acknowledged inspirations.
The Queen of Rock-Star Cool meets the Bard of Folk. Standing in the Doorway finds Chrissie Hynde wrapping her distinctive smoky contralto around some Dylan deep cuts... The oldest inspiration is a lovely cover of 'Tomorrow Is a Long Time,' recorded by Dylan in 1963, but unreleased until 1971's Greatest Hits, Vol. 2; the latest is the title track from 1997's Time Out of Mind. Other cover artists may favor Dylan's hits, but the strength of this gem is the soulfulness and intimacy that Hynde brings to her personal favorites.