By Irina Pino
HAVANA TIMES — Bob Dylan won the Nobel Prize and the news has unleashed controversy, the disgust of some, the envy of others, who say that they don’t agree, arguing that he isn’t a real writer.
However, nobody can deny his influence on culture, the wealth of his lyrics and their great social critique, the symbolism of his poems-songs, his love songs.
He’s a great who has experimented and fed off of folk music, rock and blues as well as other US music genres. He still continues to make music and to take on new projects.
However, my interest doesn’t lie in going into his history, which all of his followers will already know, or in speaking about his Nobel Prize, but rather in talking about an album that seduced me with its warmth, its simple approach to human emotions, without asking permission to enter our hearts directly: Shadows in the Night, released in 2015, is an album that has songs which Frank Sinatra recorded in the ‘50s and ‘60s, songs about heartbreak, loneliness, pain, real emotions that never go out of fashion.
The harmony of his voice with the slow rhythm of the background instruments is unique, deep, as if Dylan were whispering into our ears. The tracks that particularly moved me were: Full Moon and Empty Arms, Stay with Me, and I’m a Fool to Want You, and The Night We Called It A Day, songs which are filled with a sadness that creeps up on us and takes over our soul, which reminds us of old boleros where only old ashes of love remain and our loved ones become unattainable.
Here, Dylan isn’t Dylan, he’s stripped of his splendor as a prophet of words, he’s an intermediary of affection, somebody who wants to tell us his pain, his longings, and I believe that he manages to do this, as he gets inside our heads and makes us reflect about love and its feelings.
Frank Sinatra wasn’t the mountain he had to climb, like he’d once declared in an interview, I think that he managed to set a tone between the “Voice” and Dylan, who from his own sensitivity is conscious about the truth that he needs to express.
It might be a pleasant affair to dance to these songs, to fall in love, to make love. We need these beautiful melodies to live, and enjoy, why not? a little bit of nostalgia.