A new Bob Dylan album in 2015 could’ve gone any number of directions, but the one he ended up going with is still a surprise. In a couple of weeks, Dylan will release his new LP Shadows In The Night, and it’s a collection of songs that Frank Sinatra made famous. There’s a world of contrast between Dylan’s absolutely desiccated present-day voice and what Sinatra was doing in his prime, and that contrast just might be the engine of the album. Last year, before the album was announced, we heard Dylan’s take on Sinatra’s “Full Moon And Empty Arms.” And now the first single from Shadows In The Night is a version of “Stay With Me, a ballad that Sinatra recorded with an orchestra in 1964. Dylan’s version is ragged and minimal, arranged for his bluesy touring band. But his voice is, in its own way, perfectly capable of transmitting meaning. You can hear Dylan’s take on the song at NPR.
Shadows In The Night will be out on 2/3 on Columbia Records.