Album Review: “Infidels” by Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan live in 1964 - Cool Coyote / Youtube
1983’s release of Infidels saw Bob Dylan return to the secular music scene following his stints with Christian-influenced material from his prior conversion to the religion. This more personal and intimate record of Dylan’s had Dire Straits’ Mark Knopfler co-produce it with him, as he needed someone who knew his way in and out of the newer recording technology of the era.
Greeting listeners into the album is “Jokerman”, a straightforward tune that relies on a strong rhythm section along with the guitar duet of Knopfler and ex-Stones Mick Taylor, all building in intensity as the track marches toward its conclusion. “Sweetheart Like You” doesn’t stray far from a ballad format and sports a decent hook, while “Neighborhood Bully” carries tinges of new wave influences and southern sounds to it. “License To Kill” closes out the first side with its standard rock arrangement with guitar flair that discusses man and his impact on the environment.
“Man Of Peace” welcomes you to the second side of the album with thick guitar and Hammond organ symphony, while “Union Sundown” is on point as a legit rocker with a tight level of composition. “I and I” uses a contrasting dynamic on the verses and chorus for that interesting twist, while “Don’t Fall Apart On Me Tonight” closes out everything with its indulgent love ballad arrangement.
Infidels scored Dylan his best yet in years, after a somewhat mellowed down presence in the industry. It was apparent that the counterculture icon hasn’t laid down his arms yet with the particular album’s success.