A pretty odd album in Dylan's catalog, I almost want to call it a transitional album. The follow-up to DESIRE, once again Dylan has assembled a rather large ensemble, but a very different one. Dylan is going for a new sound, one that's more pop-oriented than his past records, and some say he was trying to emulate the retro-r&b revues of the 70's. It sounds more like the bands you hear on late period Frank Sinatra albums. Not the classic ones, but the ones from the late 60's or 70's where Sinatra sounds like he's trying to take on rock 'n' roll and r&b rather than continue his perfected style of 50's and early 60's swinging pop. For me, the sound doesn't gel on STREET LEGAL, even in this new mix which I admit is better. Part of it may be the songs, which seem interesting on paper, but listening to this album start to finish, they don't really grab me. I've grown to enjoy the album while I'm listening to it, but after it's over, it doesn't leave a strong impression, and I'm thinking of something else two minutes later.
"Changing Of The Guards" rides a nice groove with a cheesy little sax riff that did grow on me, and "Senor" is interesting if slow and a little flat, but this is a tough album to love. I can't see anyone except diehard Dylan fans hearing this album over and over again. If you already have a dozen Dylan CD's in your collection, not including compilations, than I think this is worth checking out, but if you're the kind of person who focuses more on his 60's work, and has at best two, three albums outside of the 60's, I'd hold off on this.