"Ain't nothin' pretty about this menagerie of folk-rock reptiles. But who needs pretty, when you can revel in a cornucopia of character? The gritty, whiskey-soaked warblings of Dylan, Young, Morrison and Co. waft out of the speakers and hang in the air like the smoke from a hundred seedy bars. Perhaps it's ironic that pungent atmospherics were the chief outpourings from the well of Flower Power, but it's also suggestive of the underlying delicacy that has ensured these artists' longevity.
Longevity is a fate unlikely to be afforded the self-loathing tantrums of the grunge movement. Neil Young is sometimes labelled "The Father of Grunge", but his issue have let him down. Old man, they're not a lot like you were at all.
While the sixties - with a little leeway either side - is the sole source of talent for this compilation, the actual recordings span forty-odd years. They range from the peerless blues of Little Willie John's Need Your Love so Bad (1955) to a new Bob Dylan track, written specifically for the film.
The strength of the soundtrack lies in its consistency - a rare feat for an anthology. It's a veritable treasure trove of ambience and observation, with every track making a significant contribution. John Lennon's Watching the Wheels (from Double Fantasy, the album recorded shortly before his death) is possibly the brightest gem of all.
The most pleasant surprise, however, is the new Dylan number. In recent years, his live performances have received the sort of reviews that support the theory that old folksters never die, they merely strum away - like drunks with guitars at a No-Talent Night. But here, with Things Have Changed, Dylan demonstrates that some things remain the same. An acoustic guitar, a lyrical melody and a memorable lyric, it's an enduring formula."