Miley Cyrus covered Bob Dylan's "You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go," and, people, do not laugh as I am completely serious when I muster all of my renown and critical authority (and put my rock-solid reputation as a SERIOUS MUSIC WRITER on the line here) to declare that Miley's cover should absolutely be taken seriously.
Miley's cover is part of the Bob Dylan compilation Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan Honoring 50 Years of Amnesty International, a four-disc collection that honors Amnesty International's 50th anniversary and pays tribute to Bob Dylan, featuring artists like Ke$ha (who covered "Don't Think Twice It's Alright"), Adele, Pete Townshend, The Airborne Toxic Event and more. (See, we knew Miley was a role model.)
The accompanying video, which was released today and features guitarist Johnzo West, is a muted, pensive affair that focuses far more on the song's sentiment than on Miley the headline maker. It's the polar opposite of flashy Miley affairs like "Can't Be Tamed" or "Party In The USA." (If anything proves that Miley's growing up as a woman and as an artist, covering Dylan -- and doing it quite well -- is it.)
Old-school Bob Dylan fans are probably too busy completing the entire 33? series on their first-gen Kindles or contemplating organic milk to read this, so I probably only have you, Miley fans, to convince that Miley's Dylan cover is worth several listens, and I probably don't have to. Miley covers "You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go" with all of the mournfulness and dusty sentiment that the classic Dylan song requires, pouring her heart into the track and giving the legend his due instead of simply covering the track and moving on. (It's hard to top the Shawn Colvin version, but Miley comes dangerously close.)
It takes not only guts but cojones the size of wrecking balls to cover Bob Dylan. Miley rose to the occasion, proving she's capable of genres beyond pop and that she thrives vocally in a folk/country environment. I'm now waiting impatiently for that country album, Milers.