I was originally going to review Saved but after realizing that that would require additional listens as I formulated my thoughts into coherent writing, I decided against it – I’m just not masochistic enough for that task (right now, anyway). Instead, I came to pick on Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid with Negative Nancy on my mind, after learning it was a mostly-instrumental Bob Dylan album, and everyone knows people don’t listen to Dylan albums for their instruments. What I received was an extremely pleasant listening experience that’s kind of hard to fault. There’s some really nifty instruments here that you don’t hear a lot of on other Bob Dylan records: the sleighbells that do their best to add a breeziness to “Main Title Theme (Billy)” (although there’s no reason why that chord progression, melody and bass or not, deserved to be 6 minutes long – it’s C’s and G’s all night long, baby); the bongos of “Cantina Theme (Workin’ For the Law)”; the flute and recorder of “Final Theme”; the banjo and fiddle of “Turkey Chase.” “River Theme”’s a little useless, since you get those backing vocals in “Final Theme,” and regarding the multiple renditions of “Billy”’s, I’m thankful that Billy’s 2, 3, 5 and 6 didn’t find their way here.
Anyway, “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” is obviously the best song here, and I might as well give Saved a glancing review in comparison to this one and kill two birds with one stone. The worst songs on that album, like this one here, use religious themes, gospel backing vocals, and minimal lyrics. The worst songs on that album, unlike this one here, do not use space or subtlety and are sucky because of it.