Rock/pop Bob Dylan: "Infidels." (Columbia QC 38819) -- After Dylan has just come away from a torrid fling with evangelical Christianity, his fans are probably wondering how balanced his new work will be. "Infidels," while not brilliant in the blinding sense, is a good, solid album -- influenced by Christian teaching, but which defintely move Dylan's music and message more toward his traditional audience, and away from the prophetic fervor of his born-again sound. For that reason it is a courageous album for the artist at this time. While not as strong as "Blood on the Tracks," the genius of the direct, bittersweet Dylan emerges in several places. A good many of the songs have a rock-and-roll flavor to them, brought off by the cool, understated guitar work of Dire Straits lead Mark Knopfler. Some seem pedanetic, weak. "Jokeman," the opening song, is typically Dylanesque -- a delicate mixture of hope and irony -- and it is the one song where Dylan seems unashamedly to let himself soar. More of that anytime.
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