The last “new” music we got from Bob Dylan was a 2015 album of Frank Sinatra covers titled Shadows of the Night. It was great; don’t get me wrong—a nice, smoky take on Ol’ Blue Eyes’ depthless croon. But Dylan is first and foremost a songwriter, a lyricist of near unprecedented talent, and his fans want to hear all those sharp wordplays at work. Last month when Dylan announced a new record, Fallen Angels—ostensibly his first LP of originals since 2012’s Tempest—I could almost taste his biting wit.
Today Dylan aired the first track from Fallen Angels, and what do we get? Another Frank Sinatra cover. Again, I’m not really complaining because I think Dylan does Sinatra authentically and Sinatra’s songs are ripe for rebirth. His latest cover, “Melancholy Mood,” has a sultry, Tom Waits meandering down dark Parisian streets vibe. Plus the lyrics are on par with Dylan’s own wordsmithing:
“I search for a trace / of a lingering kiss / a warm embrace / but love is a whimsy / and flimsy as lace / and my arms embrace / an empty space.”
The 1939 cover will be included on the new record, which means, theoretically, this could be another Frank Sinatra covers album. That’s unlikely, though, and I’m quite certain that the next taste of Fallen Angels will be something we’ve never heard before.
Dylan is currently touring through Japan, and he’ll head stateside in June, joined by Mavis Staples for a two-month tour that hits many of the country’s greatest outdoor venues. There’s no release date for Fallen Angels yet, but you can bet it’ll drop sometime this summer.
What do you think of the new track? Let us know in the comments.
IMAGE: Pennebaker Hegedus Films Inc/Ashes & Sand Inc/Criterion Collection