Listening to the tracks on Tempest was like “biting into a cake made from the finest pastry,” L’Osservatore Romano said.
The newspaper, which counts cardinals and clerics among its readers, devoted two articles to the album, which was released earlier this month.
It added that Dylan’s voice remains “unmistakable”, despite the fact that his career spans nearly half a century and he turned 71 in May.
The paper’s reviewer reserved particular praise for a track about the sinking of the Titanic, called, “Sad, sad story.
“The Titanic went down, (but) Bob Dylan absolutely has not,” the review said.
Once a dry-as-dust paper of record, L’Osservatore Romano has ventured into popular culture in the past few years under a new editor, commenting on everything from The Beatles and The Blues Brothers to the film Avatar and the Harry Potter books and films.
In 2010, the newspaper declared that Homer Simpson was a true Roman Catholic. The newspaper acknowledged that Homer snores through the sermons of the Reverend Lovejoy and inflicts “never-ending humiliation” on his evangelical neighbour, Ned Flanders. But it said: “The Simpsons are among the few TV programs for children in which Christian faith, religion, and questions about God are recurrent themes.”
Dylan was born Robert Allen Zimmerman to a Jewish family, but dabbled with Christianity. He has since said that he subscribes to no individual religion.
He told Newsweek in 1997: “Here’s the thing with me and the religious thing. This is the flat-out truth: I find the religiosity and philosophy in the music. I don’t find it anywhere else.
“I don’t adhere to rabbis, preachers, evangelists, all of that.”