Shot of Love

Shot of Love

The last in Bob Dylan’s trilogy of Christian albums, Shot of Love finds the songwriter outgrowing his religious awakening and returning to songs that refer to romantic longing and uncertainty as much as holy faith. In “Property of Jesus” Dylan doesn’t just dismiss his detractors, he mocks them with one of the most spiteful, sarcastic refrains of his career: “He’s the property of Jesus / Resent him to the bone / You’ve got something better / You’ve got a heart of stone.” Meanwhile, “Heart of Mine,” “Watered-Down Love,” and “The Groom’s Still Waiting At the Altar” are fascinating songs that burn with sexual frustration and self-pity, not spiritual devotion. Under Chuck Plotkin’s production Dylan found the ragged county of “In the Summertime,” which shuffles with the grace of great Neil Young. “Lenny Bruce” is a tribute song full of venom and admiration, while “Trouble” shares something with gnarly Tom Waits’ blues. Shot of Love resolves itself with “Every Grain of Sand,” the song that shows Dylan transcending all religious membership and accepting his place in the world with the poise and wisdom of a weathered monk.

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