BOB DYLAN - MODERN TIMES
• Double Vinyl LP
• 180g Vinyl
• 10 New Songs
Includes inners sleeves with pictures
Bob Dylan's first new album in five years, Modern Times, is his 44th album. Featured are 10 new Bob Dylan songs recorded during the winter of 2005/2006 with Dylan on keyboards, guitars, harmonica and vocals, accompanied by his touring band. It is seen as the third release in an outstanding trilogy along with Time Out Of Mind and Love and Theft.
Bob Dylan is one of the world's most popular and acclaimed songwriters, musicians and performers, having sold nearly 100 million albums and performed literally thousands of shows around the world in a career spanning five decades. His most recent studio albums, Time Out Of Mind and Love and Theft have been among his most commercially successful and critically lauded, each having sold more than a million copies in the U.S. and earning Grammy nominations for Album of the Year (Time Out Of Mind won that award in 1998).
He wrote and recorded "Things Have Changed" for the 2000 film Wonder Boys, for which he received both the Academy Award and Golden Globe. The first volume of his memoirs, Chronicles, was one of the most acclaimed and best-selling non-fiction works of 2004, and last year's No Direction Home film, directed by Martin Scorsese, captivated audiences worldwide as it documented Dylan's early career and rise to fame.
Bob Dylan, vocals, guitar, harmonica, piano
Tony Garnier, bass, cello
George G. Receli, drums
Stu Kimball, guitar
Denny Freeman, guitar
Donnie Herron, steel guitar, violin, viola, mandolin
1. Thunder on the Mountain
2. Spirit on the Water
3. Rollin' and Tumblin'
4. When the Deal Goes Down
5. Someday Baby
1. Workingman's Blues #2
2. Beyond the Horizon
3. Nettie Moore
4. The Levee's Gonna Break
5. Ain't Talkin'
Since Time Out Of Mind, us Dylan fans can be proud again to admit that we're fans of the new stuff, not just classic Dylan. Modern Times is his third in a streak of impeccable releases. The latest is a return to the styles Dylan introduced in Love and Theft-- country-blues and smart rockabilly. As with the most recent album, Dylan (aka Jack Frost) produced Modern Times; as such its feeling is closest to Love and Theft-- warmly personal, like listening to the band in a small nightclub.
The songs are longer, the lyrics arguably more memorable and there's a few more down-tempo ballads. Contrary to the popular notion that Dylan's voice is incomprehensible (probably owing to his horrible performance at his 30th anniversary concert), the singing is so clean you can understand everything without the benefit of a lyric sheet.
As I said, the songs are longer: the shortest is 4:58, the longest over eight minutes. Dylan borrows from blues standards on Rollin' and Tumblin' and The Levee's Gonna Break (no, he doesn't cover Led Zeppelin :), but liberally infuses a brilliant mess of his own lyricism. When the Deal Goes Down and Workingman's Blues, especially the latter, are his best ballads in decades. All in all, its not as forceful as Love and Theft. It's not as surprising as that album was, but hardly less of a masterpiece. His lyrics have gotten sharper and wittier, jumping out at you at odd moments with silly innuendos, jokes about getting old, an Alicia Keys name-drop, countless thought-provoking one-liners and an all-around optimistic glow. Altogether, it's friendlier and more fun that the last two releases; it might be Dylan's most 'personable' album since, well, 'Another Side...' or 'Self-Portrait.' The last track, Ain't Talkin' is reminiscent, stylistically, of Time Out of Mind's opener, though it's probably coincidental. Dylan sings, 'Ain't Walkin', Ain't Talkin' in the same tone as Love Sick's lyric 'I'm Walkin', bringing what Columbia's been labeling a 'trilogy', full-circle.
Though reviewers elsewhere have said that Modern Times is unlikely to impress non-fans, I can't imagine how anyone couldn't enjoy the heart-wrenching warmth and sagacious wit flaunted by Dylan and his band.
BOB DYLAN - The Levee's Going to Break