Monday, June 27, 2011

Dylan Cover #18 Jeff Tweedy "Simple Twist of Fate"

In this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. Today's tune comes from Jeff Tweedy and is a cover of "Simple Twist of Fate"

Thoughts on Dylan Original:
I have talked about this song a bit before, but it is really an all time classic and one that is hard to dislike even slightly. 

Thoughts on Cover Artist:
I just spent the weekend up at Solid Sound (full review coming soon) so I had a chance to take in some Jeff Tweedy.  While he didn't play a solo set, he did come out with Levon to cover some Dylan, so it made me think this would be the perfect week to showcase him.  While I do enjoy his work, I wouldn't say I am a huge fan of his, but I certainly respect what he does.  I tend to like his more alt-country side then his rock and roll vibe and this cover leans in that direction a bit more.    

Thoughts on Cover:
This is a great take on the song.  The violin dominates and matches well with his voice.  Tweedy's singing style employed on this track is the real highlight as he powerfully goes up for notes to end the lines, accenting the lyrics with his phrasing.  Dylan himself has been criticized in the past for "upsinging" at the end of his lines during recent shows, but in this version it fits well.  Not an overall different cover, fairly straight ahead and pleasant.
Grade B-

Wilson's Take:
Wilco summons memories of the girl everyone has dated in spite of her musical tastes. No sooner would you walk into her room than you'd be trapped in musical death chamber where inspiration goes to die. If you want hippy music, there are hippier acts...if you want soul-piercing lyrics, the rhetorical blades are, elsewhere, everywhere. Yet Wilco marches on...and way up here in 2011 they continue to enjoy a unique cult following.
Jeff Tweedy's rendition of "Simple Twist of Fate" is what Dylan would have sounded like if he'd never picked up the smokes or met the woman for whom he wrote the divorce album of the millennium: Blood on the Tracks. It dulls along without the twinkle-in-the-eye vocals the author originally gave it. Gone is the sense of irony. Absent are the periodic whelps that suggest the storyteller is struggling to contain his passion...because that's often what a break-up is about, holding your shit together against all internal impulses. Tweedy managed to croon out "Simple Twist of Fate" without the slightest hint of nostalgic longing, which is like obeying the speed limit on an open highway in Montana.

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