Universal acclaim - based on 13 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 13
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 13
  3. Negative: 0 out of 13
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  1. 100
    What an absolute joy it is, in which the grand old man of songcraft flips through his own back pages with genuine relish, a man in his 80’s revisiting the words of his firebrand youth and finding entirely new meanings there.
  2. Jun 21, 2023
    In the Shadow Kingdom, the smooth seduction of I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight comes out downright lusty, while the jinking melody of It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue ebbs and flows here, seemingly dragged by swollen waves of sound. Some lyrics are subtly changed, others are turned on their head – the devotional To Be Alone With You transformed into something dangerous and desperate (“What happened to me darling, what was it you saw, did I kill somebody, did I escape the law?”).
  3. Jun 9, 2023
    The result is surprising and singular, revealing new twists in songs that seemed to be set in stone decades ago.
  4. 80
    Consider Shadow Kingdom another opportunity to seize on a fabled legacy while reminding the world yet again that certain songs never go out of style.
  5. Jun 2, 2023
    This man long ago taught himself to recognize the lasting value in a good song and here, over the course of some fifty minutes, he deftly applies those lessons to an unusual range of his very own.
  6. 80
    Throughout Shadow Kingdom, Dylan is found virtually savouring the sweet taste of his lyrics, applying care, precision and masterful phrasing that renders the results really quite beautiful.
  7. Jun 1, 2023
    This barebones performance absolutely sparkles — a “Tombstone Blues” that’s much quieter than the original, but so spry that it’s irresistible. It stands totally on its own, and so does the album it’s on.
  8. Jun 1, 2023
    As an album, Shadow Kingdom is an alternate universe that reflects another side of Bob Dylan's craft and creative muses. It's not a funhouse mirror reflection per se, but it's definitely really fun the more you look at it.
  9. Classic Rock Magazine
    Jun 1, 2023
    A set that casts a smoky haze over a remarkable event were characters from the shadow kingdom of Dylan's past come out to play one more time. He'll be a hard act to follow. [Jul 2023, p.91]
  10. Jun 1, 2023
    Shorn of its visuals, ‘Shadow Kingdom’ remains a fascinating listen. .... Facing down his past, he comes close to eclipsing it, and offers magnificent proof of his continued vitality as a performing artist.
  11. Jun 1, 2023
    Songs hang in the air, implying rather than asserting uncanny dimensions. Dylan’s voice, again, is quite beautiful, with a control and nuance so many thought he’d lost. [Jul 2023, p.97]
  12. Jun 1, 2023
    Here “When I Paint My Masterpiece” has a lovely jug-band lurch, “I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight” loses its country lilt but sounds as if was always destined to be mated with the taut riff from Roy Head’s “Treat Her Right”, and “Queen Jane Approximately”, hung against a latticework of accordion and finger-picked guitars, is almost unbearably tender. [Aug 2023, p.46]
  13. Jun 5, 2023
    As a whole, Shadow Kingdom might not be a revelation, but it’s an interesting experiment with plenty of solid results.

Awards & Rankings

User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 4 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 4
  2. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. Jun 20, 2023
    It is easy to admire the career of this great music veteran, and this album just gives a strong image of how far is Dylan to drop the guitar.It is easy to admire the career of this great music veteran, and this album just gives a strong image of how far is Dylan to drop the guitar. Even if what is made is not precisely revolutionary or a perspective changer, at this point, what is more important is to leave Dylan to enjoy his own process, and for the patience hearts, there is something incredibly tender to hold on to. Dylan has become a soundtrack for long lives, and to immerse in his music is to realize there is a great deal of accomplishment in producing just for pure enjoyment, that is the great value of Bob Dylan. Full Review »