Picks and Pans Review: Masked and Anonymous

updated 08/25/2003 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/25/2003 01:00AM

Original Soundtrack (Columbia)

Bob Dylan's bizarre new film has gotten less than kind—okay, blistering—reviews, but its soundtrack CD, a quirky recap of his career, is a pleasing diversion. From the opener, a fun cover of "My Back Pages" sung in Japanese, to a version of "If You See Her, Say Hello" that remains heartbreaking even if you don't understand a word since it's in Italian, the album largely succeeds in portraying Dylan as a mythic, global presence. Most of the album consists of covers in English, and among many fine reworkings are Sophie Zelmani's soul-searching "Most of the Time" and the Dixie Hummingbirds' gospel-toned "City of Gold." If you're not familiar with the original recordings of these songs, you'll miss the point, but fans shouldn't miss out.

BOTTOM LINE: Dylanologists' delight

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