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CD Reviews:
The Listening Room: Bob Dylan, the Beatles, Tim McGraw, Seal and more...

Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

Posted: Friday, November 6, 2015

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Bob Dylan

"The Cutting Edge 1965-1966: The Bootleg Series Vol. 12"


Grade: A

Bob Dylan's standards set "Shadows in the Night" caused a lot of excitement 10 months ago -- but here's something to really get excited about. The latest installment of Dylan's Bootleg Series digs into the vaults of one of the most prolific and groundbreaking phases of his career, the dizzy 15 or so months he spent recording his "Bringing It All Back Home," "Highway 61 Revisited" and "Blonde on Blonde" albums, going electric and, oh yeah, delivering one of the greatest rock anthems of all time in "Like a Rolling Stone." "The Cutting Edge" is filled with illuminating alternate looks at material both familiar and (kind of) forgotten, and the question is not really if you want it (you do) but how you want it. There's a two-CD "The Best of the Cutting Edge" for Dylan dabblers, but the real fans will want either the six-disc, 110-track Deluxe Edition. And if that's not enough for the real Dylanologists, a limited edition 18-disc beast is crammed with every single note played during the sessions. The fascinations and discoveries are endless -- you won't listen to "Mr. Tambourine Man," "Visions of Johanna," "Stuck Inside of Mobile..." and many others the same way again -- while the larger two sets feature the entire, two-day "Like a Rolling Stone" sessions on one disc, complete with instrument isolations and plenty of studio chatter, an examination that's worth the price of admission alone.

New & Noteworthy:

Sara Bareilles, "What's Inside: Songs From Waitress" (Epic): The singer-songwriter offers a peek at the songs she's written for the stage adaptation of the 2007 film "Waitress," with Jason Mraz helping on a pair of tracks.

The Beatles, "1+" (Apple Corps/UMG): The Fab collection gets even fabber in expanded packages that add new videos and some Beatles' commentary to the mix. You almost won't noticed you're buying it for a second time.

Eric Church, “Mr. Misunderstood” (EMI Nashville): The country star slipped his fifth studio album out by surprise this week, using the CMA Awards as a launch pad for the 10-song set.

Billy Gibbons, "Perfectamundo" (Concord): The ZZ Top guitarist goes solo with a hot set that digs deeper into his musical roots, particularly Latin and Cuban flavors, than we've ever heard before.

Ellie Goulding, "Delirium" (Polydor/Interscope): The British singer`s third studio album has more of a pop flavor than its predecessors and includes her "Fifty Shades of Grey" single "Love Me Like YOu Do."

Tim McGraw, "Damn Country Music" (Big Machine): McGraw's 14th studio album includes duets with Big & Rich and with his 18-year-old daughter Gracie McGraw.

Seal, "7" (Warner Bros.): The "Crazy" singer may look for a "Kiss From a Rose," but he finds plenty of thorns on this first album since his split with ex-wife Heidi Klum.

Sam Smith, "In the Lonely Ower: Drowning Shadows Edition" (Capitol): The Grammy Award-inning album gets a two-disc overhaul, adding new songs (including the "Drowning Shadows") single, covers and live material.

Also Out: Eric Bibb & J.J. Milteau, "Lead Belly`s Gold" (Stony Plain); The Cadillac Three, "The Cadillac Three" (Big Machine); Ben Caplan, "Birds With Broken Wings" (Coalition Music); Celldweller, "End of an Empire" (Fixt); Stanley Clarke, Jean-Luc Ponty et al, "D-Stringz" (Verve); Devil You Know, "They Bleed Red" (Nuclear Blast); Steve Forbert, "Compromised" (Rock Ridge); Ghost Town, "Evolution" (Fueled By Ramen); Cee-Lo Green, "Heart Blanche" (Atlantic); Sara Groves, "Floodplain (Fair Trade/Columbia); Deitrick Haddon, "Masterpiece" (eOne); Magnus Karlsson`s Free Fall, "Kingdom of Rock" (Frontiers); Little Mix, "Get Weird" (Syco); MC Lars, "The Zombie Dinosaur LP" (Horris); Natalie Merchant, "Paradise Is There: The New Tigerlily Recordings" (Nonesuch); Novelists, "Souvenirs" (Metalville); Daniel O'Donnell, "The Hank Williams Songbook" (DPTV); Old Dominion, "Meat and Candy" (RCA/Sony Nashville); Billy Sherwood, "Citizen" (Frontiers); Angie Stone, "Dream" (Shanachie); Ric Todd, "Drawing Lines" (self-released); Brenna Whitaker, "Brenna Whitaker" (Verve); Mike Zito & the Wheel, "Keep Coming Back" (Ruf)

From the Vaults: Connie Francis, "Lipstick On Your Collar" (Music Club); Opeth, "Deliverance & Damnation Remixed" (The End); Alan Jackson, "Genuine: The Alan Jackson Story" (Arista Nashville/Legacy); The Outlaws, "Los Angeles 1976" (Purple Pyramid); Rancid, "B-Sides and C-Sides" (Rancid); Elvis Presley, "If I Can Dream..." (Legacy); Tracy Thorn, "Solo: Songs and Collaborations 1982-2015" (Caroline); Yes, "Fragile" (Panegyric)

Soundtracks: Michael Brooks, "Brooklyn" (Lakeshore); Thomas Newman, "Spectre: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack" (Decca); Various Artists, "Songs From 'The Martian'" (Columbia)

New Holiday Albums: Lynn Anderson, "The Christmas Album (Expanded Edition)" (Real Gone); Glen Campbell, "Complete Christmas Recordings" (Read Gone); Count Basie Orchestra, "A Very Swingin' Basie Christmas" (Concord Jazz); Gordon Goodwin`s Big Phat Band, "A Big Phat Christmas Wrap This!" (1201 Music); Johnny Mathis, "The Complete Christmas Collection 1958-2010" (Real Gone); Kenny Neal, "I'll Be Home For Christmas" (Cleopatra); Various Artists, "A Capella Christmas" (Stone)

New Music DVDs: "Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown" (UMe); "The Motels Live at the Whiskey A Go Go" (+180)

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