Bob Dylan, Christmas in the Heart
Official release date: October 13
The Verdict: Just as we suspected, it’s pretty excellent. Perpetual Nobel Prize loser Bob Dylan’s first-ever Christmas album — which leaked to the Internet last night — is great in the same way as when he started telling those terrible, old-timey jokes in concert in the late nineties (“My ex-wife left me again. She’s a tennis player — love means nothing to her,” etc.). By which we mean it was obviously recorded all for his own amusement (and charity, too, we suppose), but it’s still pretty fun to hear Bob Dylan amused. His band is as tight and his voice destroyed as ever, and on Heart’s hilariously reverent versions of “Christmas Island” and “Must Be Santa,” it sounds like he’s enjoying himself more than on anything since the fast songs from Love and Theft. So we like it quite a bit (but we like Self Portrait, too).