In lyrics, "Nothing But The Whole Wide World" (available at Spinner.com) isn't any more "country" than Dylan's classic hit "One Headlight," which also deals in broken promises and uncertain futures. The project reunites him with the legendary T-Bone Burnett, who also produced the Wallflowers' breakout disc, Bringing Down the Horse, in 1996 and the result is a Dylan who shuffles more than he has before. Neko Case contributes the backing "oohs."
Earlier this week, the folks over at Rolling Stone's Spring Music Preview premiered a second Women & Country song (available in a streaming version here). Titled "Everybody's Hurting," the track expresses in music the worries that Dylan, here a spokesman for the everyday American, perceives in his country's future. "We've hunted these hills dry," he sings, "we've long outlasted the winter and our last wood pile."
The two tracks would fit comfortably in a playlist with the recent Robert Plant and Alison Krauss collaborations or the new Crazy Heart soundtrack — not a surprise, really, given that Burnett produced those, too.
Women & Country is available now for pre-order, in advance of its April 6 street date.