Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan is a benefit CD that celebrates both the 50 years of Bob Dylan’s music career and 50 years of Amnesty International. The four discs of the collection contain 75 tracks by over 80 artists. And there is something for nearly everyone in this collection.
The artists represented in the collection range from old favorites like Patti Smith, Diana Krall and Sting to newer artists such as Miley Cyrus, Adele, and State Radio. The styles run the gamut from Irish punk (Flogging Molly) to alternative metal (Queens of the Stone Age) to country (Dierks Bentley) and international (Ximena Sarinana). Most of the artists have managed to make Dylan’s songs their own, so listening to each interpretation is a pleasure and new experience of some old favorites.
One of the strengths of this collection is that it doesn’t just include Dylan’s most well-known songs, though. At 75 songs, some of them obviously had to be a bit more obscure. Ke$ha’s version of “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright” is wonderful and raw, but hearing Raphael Saadiq’s interpretation of “Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat” not only introduced me to Raphael Saadiq, it introduced me to a new, more playful version of Dylan I had never before encountered.
Definitely don’t expect to love everything in this collection. Most people’s musical tastes aren’t quite this varied. But do expect to hear Dylan in a new way from some very talented artists.