Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Dylan's Imminent Album

For me, the cultural highlight of any year is the arrival of a new Bob Dylan album. Modern Times is set for release at the end of August and, from the snippets I've heard, I think I'm going to be disappointed. Dylan's voice is as expressive as ever (I believe that he is one of the very best singers in any genre) but nothing leaps out from the lyrics, the musical forms are overly familiar (Soft blues, country, a few forays into crooning a la "Love and Theft") but, to my ears, the biggest problem lies with his band. I have seen them live on numerous occasions and have always been less than impressed by the two guitarists in particular. And so it seems again. From what I've heard, Modern Times exudes a grey, run-of-the-mill aura which doesn't bode well for repeated listening. I hope I'm wrong.


Anonymous Moon-ray said...

The feeling is that the new Dylan album might be the same shoe-shuffling country album that Love and Theft was, judging by the samples that have been floating around the 'Net, but I hope I'm wrong. But don't forget the capacity of Dylan's music to mature over time. Nashville Skyline got a tepid reception on release and time revealed its qualities. And what about the two wonderful acoustic albums that were ignored by the critics on release but to my ears are amongst the best albums of his career? The point I'm making is that Dylan's art is layered and requires effort from the listener to reveal those layers. Could be that the new album will disappoint us and then surprise us. Meanwhile, listen to those wonderful Theme Time radio shows.

8:00 pm  

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