Christmas in the Heart

Bob Dylan

If you’re among those legions who can’t stand the sound of Bob Dylan’s voice, then there’s no way you’re going to like his Christmas album. But if you came of age listening to ol’ Zimmy sing the changes, then you’ll want to warm your Xmas cockles with these yuletide chestnuts offered as only Dylan could do ’em. One online reviewer dissed the disc by calling it “karaoke from the nursing home,” a cruel description of the ol’ Jew for Jesus’ singing voice these days. Yet another referred to Dylan as a “relic,” but for those who count Dylan as one of the few authentic geniuses of his generation, there’s comfort in hearing him sing these songs we all knew, even when Bob was just a baby freezing his tush up there in Hibbing, Minn., and incubating the talent that would make him the quintessential American songwriter of his time. Everything about this project seems counter-intuitive, except for the nostalgia so many boomers hear in Dylan’s voice. It won’t be to everyone’s taste, but if there’s a definitive American sound, Dylan’s the go-to guy if you want to hear it during the season of giving.