by Seth Rogovoy
(FORWARD, 7.12.20) – It’s as predictable as death and taxes. Bob Dylan releases a new album and critics hyperventilate that it is his best since his masterful 1975 album, “Blood on the Tracks.” The latter was an acoustic song cycle largely about the dissolution of a marriage (his marriage?), and it does indeed stand the test of time as a marker for all that was to follow. The only albums in Dylan’s entire catalog that vie with “Blood on the Tracks” for critical supremacy are his two mid-60’s classics, the back-to-back albums “Highway 61 Revisited” (1965) and “Blonde on Blonde” (1966).
So if “Blood on the Tracks” still stands as Dylan’s greatest album since 1975, then which subsequent collection of new songs – not counting live albums, compilations, collections of archival material, and albums featuring other people’s songs – truly deserves praise as “the best Bob Dylan album since ‘Blood on the Tracks’?”