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Bob Dylan’s New Sinatra Covers Album Now Streaming at NPR 'First Listen'

By Philip Trapp on May 13, 2016 04:14 PM EDT

Bob Dylan's new volume of traditional pop standards, Fallen Angels, is now streaming in full at NPR's First Listen. Set for release May 20, Dylan's second Great American Songbook sampler and follow-up to last year's Shadows in the Night again contains a selection of tunes made famous by legendary crooner Frank Sinatra.

As we previously reported, Dylan previewed album track "Melancholy Mood" last month, a deep cut culled from Sinatra's very first single. The obscure B-side, written by lyricist Vick R. Knight, Sr. and composer Walter Schumann, originally backed Sinatra's "From the Bottom of My Heart," released in 1939.

Prior to Shadows in the Night, iconic musician Dylan had been plotting an album of standards for decades, dating back to the era of his 1978 studio album, Street-Legal. At the time, his record label discouraged an album of covers from such a highly-regarded original songwriter. The project was thusly shelved until 2015's Shadows.

In a recent tell-all interview to AARP The Magazine, Dylan shared his conception of the dual standards albums, aiming to add his distinguished tone and enigmatic temperament to a curated cache of bygone classics:

"I wanted to use songs that everybody knows or thinks they know. I wanted to show them a different side of it and opened up that world in a more unique way. You have to believe what the words are saying and the words are as important as the melody. Unless you believe the song and have lived it, there's little sense in performing it."

Dylan's storied career continues to skillfully conjoin the familiar with the fresh. As he told Rolling Stone, the line is ambiguous between classic and contemporary:

"The thing about it is that there is the old and the new, and you have to connect with them both. The old goes out and the new comes in, but there is no sharp borderline. The old is still happening while the new enters."

Dylan's "Never Ending Tour" continues into the summer, where he'll be perform a spattering of the Sinatra standards along with his own voluminous catalog of hits.

Listen to the entirety of Fallen Angels below, courtesy of NPR Music.

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TagsBob Dylan, Fallen Angels, Frank Sinatra, NPR First Listen, Shadows in the Night