Monday, September 17, 2012

Tempest



This is his Royal Bobnesses 35th studio album released just a month short of the 50th anniversary of the release of his first eponymously titled debut album. That initial release seems a lifetime away, not just in musical recording terms but also in the way Bob Dylan writes, sings, records and produces his music. There isn't another artist alive who has such a breadth or work over such a long period of time, The Rolling Stones may have released their first album in 1964 but its debatable whether they have produced more than a handful of listenable songs over the past twenty five years let alone continually produced albums of quality that match their golden period from 1969-1973.

Each decade sees a 'new' Dylan in the sense that the man's voice has matured, dropped a range and acquired a depth that is hinted at in his earlier work, compare the youthful exuberance and nasal whine of  Subterranean Homesick Blues (Bringing It All Back Home - 1965) with the deeper crooner like voice we hear sing Lay Lady Lay (Nashville Skyline - 1969) to see how he could change his voice to suit the song and the mood. The Dylan we hear on this album compares favourably with any of his output over the past thirty years or so, the musicianship (as you'd expect) is extraordinary and if it's true that Dylan is a musical sponge then he must have given himself a pretty good squeeze in the writing of this album.

Whether it's the voice, the status or his age, he manages to get away lyrically with moments on this album that would sound crass were they sung by anybody even half his age. There are some dark moments on this album, one that references, in the title track, RMS Titanic (and the James Cameron film of the same name), a tribute to John Lennon (the closing track - Roll on John) and the use of Muddy Waters "Mannish Boy" riff on Early Roman Kings.

This is a warm album, an album that talks about love, life, betrayal, death, happiness - all human emotion is in here. Musically speaking Dylan is as musically relevant to the youth of today as Al Jolson was to me but he sings and plays with such wisdom and humanity that he deserves to be heard.  Is he making records for himself or his fans, whichever it is he is making a good job of it. He isn't the sort of musician that will win many new converts at this stage of his career but to his admirers he is still at the top of his game, and any songwriter that can include the line "I gonna have to take my head and bury it between your breasts," as he does on "Narrow Way" will surely attract members of younger generations.

The thing about Dylan's lyrics is that they can veer from the mundane to the profound and there's rarely a rhyming couplet anywhere. Keith Richards has always seen himself as some sort of troubadour but Bob Dylan tours, writes, tours on a schedule that would kill off lesser and younger men and he really is a throw back to the old days of the strolling musician, the direct line from the musician with the guitar on his back is as strong as ever.

4 comments:

oakleyses said...

michael kors outlet online, burberry outlet, coach outlet, coach outlet store online, nike air max, polo outlet, nike air max, kate spade, michael kors outlet online, ray ban sunglasses, tiffany jewelry, christian louboutin shoes, kate spade outlet, chanel handbags, tiffany and co, michael kors outlet, tory burch outlet, burberry handbags, ray ban sunglasses, longchamp outlet, replica watches, nike outlet, christian louboutin uk, longchamp outlet, coach outlet, oakley sunglasses, michael kors outlet, longchamp outlet, christian louboutin, gucci handbags, coach purses, prada handbags, michael kors outlet online, true religion outlet, christian louboutin outlet, oakley sunglasses wholesale, oakley sunglasses, michael kors outlet store, polo ralph lauren outlet online, prada outlet, nike free, jordan shoes

oakleyses said...

lululemon canada, jordan pas cher, nike tn, hollister uk, nike free uk, air max, louboutin pas cher, new balance, longchamp pas cher, abercrombie and fitch uk, nike air max uk, north face, hollister pas cher, ray ban uk, converse pas cher, guess pas cher, michael kors outlet, polo lacoste, ralph lauren uk, nike air max uk, hogan outlet, timberland pas cher, mulberry uk, true religion jeans, sac vanessa bruno, oakley pas cher, nike roshe, nike free run, sac hermes, burberry pas cher, michael kors pas cher, nike air max, ray ban pas cher, michael kors, true religion outlet, nike blazer pas cher, north face uk, true religion outlet, nike air force, sac longchamp pas cher, polo ralph lauren, vans pas cher

oakleyses said...

giuseppe zanotti outlet, herve leger, soccer jerseys, asics running shoes, ghd hair, lululemon, insanity workout, vans outlet, baseball bats, nfl jerseys, hollister, p90x workout, timberland boots, reebok outlet, hermes belt, north face outlet, abercrombie and fitch, mac cosmetics, iphone 6 cases, valentino shoes, oakley, chi flat iron, nike roshe run uk, nike air max, babyliss, nike roshe run, instyler, mcm handbags, nike trainers uk, nike huaraches, soccer shoes, beats by dre, bottega veneta, ferragamo shoes, new balance shoes, north face outlet, hollister clothing, jimmy choo outlet, longchamp uk, celine handbags, wedding dresses, mont blanc pens

oakleyses said...

ugg boots, pandora charms, thomas sabo, ralph lauren, toms shoes, lancel, nike air max, ugg uk, ugg boots, ugg, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, hollister, hollister, karen millen uk, louboutin, uggs on sale, juicy couture outlet, converse outlet, swarovski crystal, uggs outlet, links of london, montre pas cher, ray ban, ugg pas cher, gucci, wedding dresses, supra shoes, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, replica watches, coach outlet, converse, swarovski, vans, marc jacobs, pandora jewelry, pandora uk, juicy couture outlet, uggs outlet