Rhapsody Streamnotes: December 10, 2007

Bryan Ferry: Dylanesque (2007, Virgin): Eleven Dylan songs, all well known. Ferry's first efforts at interpreting the songbooks he grew up with were brave and daring, often turning their objects into camp classics -- his take on Dylan's "Hard Rain" was especially memorable. This is a good deal straighter, and for that reason seems like an inevitably more limited concept. On the other hand, Dylan himself is harder to caricature today than he was in the mid-1970s. B+(***)

Youssou N'Dour: Rokku Mi Rokka (2007, Nonesuch): I complained about not getting this, so they sent me an advance copy with no info or hype. Don't know if there are trots, and don't know what the songs are about -- aside from the closer, which reportedly has Neneh Cherry joining in. Terrific record. Grade could improve. A- [Later: A]

Koko Taylor: Old School (2007, Alligator): Past 70 now, first album in 7 years, from the first note, a howl, she kicks out the jams. A-