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I don’t really like Bob Dylan. Let that sink in for a bit. Now that you’ve gathered your torches and pitchforks, let’s calm down and realize that I have good reasons for my views. Strictly speaking, Bob Dylan is not a strong central source of the music I enjoy today. Yes: Dylan is an invaluable musical pioneer who pushed boundaries and innovated lyricism in popular records. But he roots too heavily in folk styles for me. And his voice sucks.

Oh for goodness sake, will you put the weapons down? “Subterranean Homesick Blues” is still so good that I still put it on nearly every playlist I make. The driving, chugging rhythm builds from drums and a loose guitar and fits well with the sound of tires on the highway at 70 miles per hour. Dylan’s voice is also shockingly tolerable here. Rather than trying to convey nuance or emotion, he’s using that trademarked sneer to punch out lyrics that evoke a kind of disenfranchised free-association. The whole thing ends up being expertly assembled, highly focused, and very impressive. I’m sure the music snobs out there have already heard this; if you haven’t yet, go check out the best of Bob Dylan.

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