Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Bob Dylan: Modern Times


UPDATE: Dylan's New Album Hits No. 1 on Charts

Bob Dylan: Modern Times
(AMG Review 4 1/2 out of 5 Stars) -- When Bob Dylan dropped the deeply moving yet mournful and brooding Time Out of Mind in 1997, it was a rollicking rockabilly and blues record full of songs about mortality, disappointment, and dissolution. 2001 brought Love and Theft, an album steeped in blues and other folk forms that was funny, celebratory, biting, and stomping. In the five years since that set, Dylan was busy: he did everything from a Victoria's Secret commercial, to endlessly touring, to being in a couple of films — Larry Charles' Masked and Anonymous and as the subject of the Martin Scorsese documentary No Direction Home — to publishing the first of the purported three volumes of his cagey and rambling autobiography Chronicles, to thinking about Alicia Keys. This last comment comes from the man himself in "Thunder on the Mountain," the opening track on Modern Times, a barn-burning, raucous, and unruly blues tune that finds the old man sounding mighty feisty and gleefully agitated: "I was thinkin' 'bout Alicia Keys/Couldn't keep from cryin'/She was born in Hell's Kitchen and I was livin' down the line/I've been lookin' for her even clear through Tennessee." The drums shuffle with brushes, the piano is pumping à la Jerry Lee Lewis, the bass is popping, and a slide guitar that feels like it's calling the late Michael Bloomfield back from 1966 — à la Highway 61 Revisited — slips in and out of the ether like a ghost wanting to emerge in the flesh. Dylan's own choppy leads snarl in the break and he's letting his blues fall down like rain: "Gonna raise me an army, some tough sons of bitches/I'll recruit my army from the oldest villages/I've been to St. Herman's church and said my religious vows/I sucked the milk out of a thousand cows/I got the pork chop, she got the pie/She ain't no angel and neither am I...I did all I could/I did it right there and then/I've already confessed I don't need to confess again."... Read more.

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Bob Dylan: Modern Times

Modern Times (Deluxe Edition With Bonus DVD)

Bob Dylan Catalog

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Bob Dylan: Modern Times

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