5 Folk Acts Who Wandered Down the Synth Road

Categories: Dig This

1. Bob Dylan, Empire Burlesque
Dylan, of course, has always been one to leave his fans scratching their heads, from his playing electric instruments at a folk festival to recording a bizarre Christmas singalong album in 2009. But the one that his fans have really been hesitant to come around to over the years is when he started employing synthesizers on Empire Burlesque in 1985.

The album received some of the worst reviews of Dylan's career, and he quickly backed off from playing songs from the album and using those synths. His next album was a return to his folkie roots, and while Knocked Out Loaded isn't held in high regard either, it does have "Brownsville Girl," which is one more song than most people like from Empire Burlesque.

That being said, Empire Burlesque is a better album than most give it credit for. Underneath the synths is some of Dylan's best songwriting of the '80s. The production might turn off many, but even the most heavily synth-washed song on the album, lead single "When the Night Comes Falling from the Sky," is actually one of this writer's favorite Dylan songs, featuring some truly exceptional lyrics.

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