• Record Label: Columbia
  • Release Date: May 20, 2016
Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
Buy On
  1. May 19, 2016
    100
    Fallen Angels is a hazy, laid-back history lesson with as many enigmatic twists and turns as a classic double-cross caper. It subverts archetypes of romance, heroism and interpersonal connection to reveal something more sinister about human intent, all packaged in beautiful musicianship of the highest order.
  2. May 16, 2016
    100
    Now he inhabits classic lines by songwriters like Johnny Mercer with weathered ease.
  3. May 20, 2016
    90
    He’s back with a second deeply felt, imaginatively reworked batch [of songs from the Great American Songbook] on Fallen Angels.
  4. May 20, 2016
    85
    The arrangements on Fallen Angels are wonderful and sumptuous. Recorded with his longtime touring band, it’s easy to hear how working with this music has breathed new life into them as a performing unit. Their playing is loose, easy and natural, and they sound like they’re having a lot of fun.
  5. May 20, 2016
    83
    For whippersnappers, Fallen Angels is a reminder that great poetry and complex emotions existed in American song well before 1962.
  6. 83
    His voice may be husky and damaged from decades of performing, but there’s beauty to its character. Tellingly, he delivers these songs of love lost and cherished not with a burning passion but with the wistfulness of experience.
  7. May 23, 2016
    80
    With Fallen Angels, Bob Dylan, like Linda Ronstadt and Rod Stewart before him, has seen fit to continue his exploration of the Great American Songbook begun with such unexpected poise and humility on last year’s Shadows In The Night.
  8. May 19, 2016
    80
    What Dylan gives us in these recordings is something of a sentimental memoir.
  9. May 19, 2016
    80
    The results are understated yet extraordinary, an idiosyncratic, romantic vision of 20th century America.
  10. 80
    Even when he strains to keep in key or pitch, he manages to make a virtue of his shortcomings, bringing a sense of long-distance exhaustion to “All The Way”, and applying a sort of Gallic shrug to “All Or Nothing At All”, in stark contrast to the jauntier tone of Frank Sinatra’s and Billie Holiday’s interpretations.
  11. May 19, 2016
    75
    Fallen Angels is cast in a wistful glow that is hard to resist.
  12. May 24, 2016
    70
    Rather than playing the same bars he’s actually always dangling a carrot, and this time with the tenderest of touches.
  13. May 20, 2016
    70
    At times Fallen Angels feels a bit lightweight in comparison [to Shadows In The Night]. Still, it’s a touching tribute to Dylan’s continued passion for music, his love of performing and a celebration of some damn good songs.
  14. May 19, 2016
    70
    Fallen Angels isn't merely overstock from last year's Shadows In The Night, though Dylan's approach is similar. His phrasing remains spectacular, sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes hilarious, and the playing is sublime.
  15. 65
    Although his impressions of Sinatra give an insight into the music of his formative years and remind of the beauty and genius of that era, they are unlikely to appeal very far beyond hardcore Dylan fans.
  16. May 23, 2016
    64
    The final product, then, feels adrift: just off the coast of delivering a discrete emotional impact, offering a sporadic, self-reflexive charm for fans who smile at Dylan’s every left turn, whether in spite of themselves or on principle.
  17. May 20, 2016
    63
    As mood pieces go, Fallen Angels is a notch or two below its predecessor.
  18. May 23, 2016
    60
    No one involved seems to be trying too hard, just basking in the pleasure of classic songs classily performed.
  19. May 19, 2016
    60
    The arrangements aren’t faithful in any way to those that made these songs famous--That Old Black Magic becomes a rockabilly shuffle--but there’s a certain loveliness to them.
  20. 58
    Dylan may naturally be better at the brooding that Shadows required, but these types of decisions equally prevent Fallen Angels from matching its predecessor.
  21. Jun 6, 2016
    50
    Those who choose to embrace and eulogise anything the great man releases will no doubt laud Fallen Angels as another triumph, but the harsh reality is this is Bob on auto-pilot.

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