That One Overrated Album

You know what I’m talking about. It’s that one album that everyone around you seems to enjoy. You want it to be good and strongly believe that it will be so, given the great amount of positive reviews you’ve read all over the internet. You know that there aren’t any kind of biases involved – you like both the artist and the genre well before hearing the said album. But, then, along the way, something goes wrong. You listen to it and you don’t get it. You listen again, then again and again, but still no results. Then you start believing that there’s something wrong with you, only to finally accept your musical tastes as they are – flawed, but at the same time, unique.

dylanSuch an album for me is none other than Bob Dylan’s Blood On The Tracks. Yes, that pain-soaked, emotion-and-anger-full, supposed masterpiece that gets an incredible amount of praise from both critics and fans all around the world. You see, I love Bob Dylan. I also love it when an artist opens himself up emotionally on tape. But this record is just very sporadic to my ears – when it’s good, it’s incredible; but at times it just doesn’t raise above mediocrity. None of it is bad, as in “unlistenably bad”, but some songs just don’t do it for me, musically. I wish I could come up with a more intriguing and detailed reason, but that really is it – my honest opinion.

So what albums do you struggle to understand the love for? What is, in your book, overrated?


Categories: Essays


16 replies

  1. “when it’s good, it’s incredible” – when I saw the photo of blood on the tracks + the title ‘overrated’ I was surprised, but Tangled up in Blue’s on there! I’d agree with your assessment though, some spectacular songs but overall, the album might not make it into my Dylan top 5.

    The White Stripes ‘Elephant’ would be the first one that comes to mind for me, a couple great singles for sure, but I don’t fully understand the fuss!


  2. ‘Tangled Up In Blue’ is indeed a superb song, maybe Dylan’s best as far as I’m concerned. I even owe my blog name to it, so you can tell how much I really love it. And yes, the album is definitely not a “Top 5 Dylan” for me as well.

    Thanks for sharing your opinion.


  3. I wouldn’t call it overrated, but I’ve been struggling with Tom Waits’ so called masterpiece, “Rain Dogs”, for quite a long time. Paradoxically it meets some of my favourite post-Asylum Records songs of his, but there are others (ballads mostly) that are quite difficult for me to dig.
    Anyway, I love the urban atmosphere it creates.


  4. Sorry – I love this album. But if it helps, I can’t stand Muse.


  5. This is one of my all-time fav albums but opinions are opinions hahahhahaha.


  6. My vote for overrated would be ‘Harvest’ by Neil Young. There’s some really good songs but I’m not salivating over it, I like Neil in general and I’ll eventually blog about him. But I don’t go nuts over him.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I like Blood on the Tracks a LOT but I always find ‘Idiot Wind’ a bit of a slog…
    If I was to choose my overrated ‘black sheep’ of Dylan’s catalogue, it would be John Wesley Harding. (the Dylan fans now gather their pitchforks…)

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s often my favorite! Gotta love how tastes differ.


    • If I had to pick an overrated Dylan album, it’d be New Morning. The rock press made a big deal about it at the time as he had recently released the universally panned Self Portrait. There may be some new Dylan candidates because the record label appears intent on releasing every bootleg and every studio take of every song they can find. Overkill. There have got to be some clunkers in there.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hmm…New Morning’s not his best but it does have a few crackers on it, like Day of the Locusts. Been collecting his Bootleg Series albums for a while, and I have to say that the ‘Live 1966’ installment may be one of the best albums he’s ever released. Monumental concert.


        • Oh sure, it doesn’t suck. But just not up to the raves it got when it came out. As to bootlegs, Rolling Stone magazine said that there will be an album coming out with 20 alternative takes of “Like a Rolling Stone.” Love the song but I’ll pass.


        • Based on your comment on ‘Live 1966,’ I decided to check this out. This is the famous acoustic set/electric set in England where someone called Dylan ‘Judas.’ Cool. Listening to it on YouTube. Will have to add to the collection. Saw a clip from this in the Scorsese documentary but somehow entirely missed that there was an album. Thanks for the tip.


  8. sheesh … amen, brother!!! (although, “Lily, Rosemary, and the Jack of Hearts” is a great song)

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I like blood on the tracks but didn’t get the hype at the time.. “tangled up in blue” is the most overrated song of all time. The idea that it exists in past present and future doesn’t astonish me. many songs use that device…i don’t think that it is multidimensional as so many critics have claimed. i don’t like it when someone talks about thieir personal lives..musically it is dead (I am a classical pianist). I’ve seen blogs that ‘explain” that song. If a song needs to be explained, then , as a songwriter, you have failed..It is a mystery that this song received so much praise when I think that it is an average song about the breakup of his marriage. and “idiot wind” is one of the most boring songs I’ve ever heard. someone who is holding on to so much anger has a problem with women. it isn’t interesting., musically dead.
    If you really want a multidimensional piece, listen to Ravel’s “gaspard de la nuit”…that is a great piece. the pinnacle of musical creative endeavours or liszt’s piano sonata or beethoven’s 9th symphony. or Bach’s mass in b minor, Brahms’ Requiem..etc.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: