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Various artists November 21 2007

I'm Not There

The two-CD soundtrack to Todd Haynes' stylistic new Bob Dylan pic I'm Not There bulges at the seams with 33 covers by no fewer than 25 artists (appropriate for a film that uses six actors to play the legendary troubadour). A testament to the universality of Dylan's music, the list of performers includes Stephen Malkmus, Jim James, Cat Power, Jeff Tweedy, Antony and the Johnsons, Sonic Youth, Calexico, Sufjan Stevens, and the Million Dollar Bashers (a backing band made up of John Medeski, Wilco's Nels Cline and Television's Tom Verlaine, among others). Women play an especially interesting role in both the film (Cate Blanchett's reportedly uncanny portrayal of Dylan) and on the soundtrack. Yo La Tengo's Georgia Hubley and White Magic's Mira Billotte give standout performances of "Fourth Time Around" and "As I Went Out One Morning," respectively. Iron & Wine's haunting version of "Dark Eyes" sounds straight off the band's latest album and shows how seamlessly Dylan's music translates into the current era. On "The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll," Mason Jennings channels the original's tragedy, underlining the simple beauty of a Dylan song illuminated by a solo acoustic guitar. 4 stars.