Various Artists – Dylan In The 80s: Volume One

It seems downright unreasonable to accuse an artist like Bob Dylan of ever flipping his on-off switch the wrong way, but that’s the impression left by the entirety of his solo material from the 1980s: seven studio albums, the lone keeper being the Daniel Lanois-produced tumbleweed Oh Mercy, from 1989. This is what Dylan in the 80s: Volume One, a compilation of covers mostly performed by Americans under 50, aims to salvage. DFA Records pal and current Bud Light commercial star Reggie Watts transforms “Brownsville Girl” into kaleidoscopic reggae, subtracting the whole Gregory Peck bit and, all told, seven and a half of the original 11 minutes. New Jersey multi-instrumentalist Marco Benevento reconfigures Dylan’s Christian-era closer “Every Grain of Sand” as a wintry piano instrumental, and its melodic familiarity is the kind of thing you want to wake up to if you fall asleep to ambient music. San Francisco jam band Tea Leaf Green win gold for Most Obscure Cover, dashing the Empire Burlesque outtake “Waiting to Get Beat” with Animal Collective-grade tribal quirks.