Monday, September 11, 2006

Dylan returns

The word on Bob Dylan's latest album, "Modern Times," from my friend Erik Ringmar in his weblog "Forget the Footnotes". I haven't heard this album myself yet (though I certainly plan to soon), but I expect that everything Erik says here is right.

For Norman Geras's take on this album, see Bob's your uncle. ("Well, he's back at the top anyway")

--Jeff Weintraub
Modern Times
Posted by Erik on August 27th, 2006

modern times

I just got hold of Dylan’s new record, Modern Times, thanks to … errr … my connections in the record industry. Three days early, the official U.S. release is on Tuesday. I’m listening to it now.

“Thunder on the Mountain” is a pretty standard blues rocker; “Spirit on the Water” is of those jazzy 1930s songs Bob has been doing lately; “Workingman’s Blues” is a super-simple Dylan tune — a bit like “Make You Feel My Love” — which sounds terrible at first but which grows on you very quickly and eventually ends up as the best song you ever heard; “I Ain’t Talkin’” is apocalyptic, haunting — a grand closing number. All in all, it’s a superb album. No duds and with a couple of instant classics.

All my loyal and my much-loved companions
They approve of me and share my code
I practice a faith that’s been long abandoned
Ain’t no altars on this long and lonesome road

Btw, the lyrics are here. As for reviews, even the grumpiest of Dylanophobes are handing out four stars, Dylan agnostics are reaching for five stars, and the fans are over the moon. In general the blogosphere seems to be exploding with Dylan references.

Compare the excitement over this album with the embarrassment that accompanied the latest Rolling Stones and Paul McCartney releases. Jagger et al belong thoroughly in the 1960s; Dylan is for ever.