If Saved did anything, it proved that the born-again Christianity of Slow Train Coming wasn't merely a passing fad, and that it did, in fact, mean something significant to Dylan. Whether it meant something significant to his audience was another matter entirely, since this is where his religion overshadows his music, turning the album into a sermon to an audience that is nearly certainly unconverted -- and never will be, either. Dylan himself may be part of that audience, since he did back away from such a staunchly dogged viewpoint not long afterward, but that doesn't change Saved's status as being a fairly flat -- and, for Dylan, fairly pedestrian -- testament to his faith. And, if Slow Train Coming found him at a fairly creative peak of songwriting and supported by a supple backing band, he's turning out routine songs here, and the backing follows suit, resulting in his flattest record yet.
by Stephen Thomas Erlewine