I've never appreciated Bob Dylan like I probably should. Never owned any of his records and generally wasn't interested. But lately I've been giving him another try. As a child my mom listened to the Beatles and my dad listened to Dylan, and at a young age Dylan's whiny voice really grated on my nerves, while the Beatles are obviously accessible to pretty much anyone at any age. So I chose my side. This time around, the results are more mixed. I burned a copy of Blonde On Blonde from a friend and there are aspects of it that I really like -- the mix of blues with folk and a wide palette of orchestration. The lyrics can of course be great, too. And while Dylan's voice is still challenging to me, I can see that he has a remarkable knack with phrasing. "Just Like A Woman" and "Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat" are admittedly the work of a genius. But Dylan's frequent use of harmonica really wears on me. Obviously there's a long tradition of it in this kind of music, but something about it in Dylan's music just feels abrasive to me. Overall I'd say I've gained more appreciation for him, especially since I have a much more crystallized sense of how he's influenced some of my other favorite musicians (Elvis Costello especially). But the jury's still out on whether I'll take this experiment much further.