Saturday, September 8, 2012

Bob Dylan: Tempest (2012)



Metacritic's aggregation of reviews of Bob Dylan's more recent albums:

Love & Theft = 93%
Modern Times = 89%
Together Through Life = 76%
Christmas in the Heart = 62%
Tempest = 84%

When reading about new Dylan albums, it may be best to lop off at least 10% of the average reviewer's rating to account for respect, awe and a fear of blacklisting by the Dylan camp. That said, Tempest proves that the blood is still dancing in Dylan`s veins. Sure, this isn't exactly Jack Palance dropping and giving the Academy twenty one-handed push-ups but it`s still more vigorous then we`ve any right to expect, especially after the not-as-bad-as-we`d-feared Christmas in the Heart and the worse-than-we`d-feared Together Through Life.  For a late career album,  Tempest, solidly engineered by Scott Litt, is a piece of some heft, akin to Modern Times (overpraised upon its release but undervalued now) though it may not be a match for the wit and fire of `Love and Theft`.
                  
                   
                   
                   
``Duquesne Whistle`` is the first new Dylan composition worthy of his name since the highlights of Modern Times. `Narrow Way`is a nice reminder that Dylan can still roll out some nice lines (``I can`t work up to you - you`ll surely have to work down to to me someday`) while recycling the blues. We do get some of that romantic crooner material, like `Soon After Midnight`` but that`s counterbalanced by the re-emergence of the angry Dylan here in fire-spiting songs like, `Pay in Blood` (`I pay in blood but not my own``) and ``The Angel`` (`He`s a gutless ape with a worthless mind`). The oft-discussed Titanic-themed song `Tempest`, while intriguing is just too damn long at forty-five chorus-less verses in just over fourteen minutes to not drag the album down a little. The other historical song, `Roll on, John` just seems to be mashing up words and ideas about John Lennon to limited effect. The last two tracks aside, Dylan`s delivered an album that adds to his body of work





It might be a bit generous but a 74% and a ``recommended for mid-level Dylan-ites`` seems fitting.


Let us know what you think of the latest Dylan work in the COMMENTS section.


Support Bob Dylan


Homepage


Amazon


iTunes

    

7 comments:

  1. At least he's still consistent with the crappy album covers.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think this one is uglier then TTL and that one was pretty terrible. Someone`s art director need firing.

    ReplyDelete
  3. related release: Michel Montecrossa’s non-violence topical music video 'Duquesne Whistle' presenting his version of Bob Dylan's song.
    http://vimeo.com/49084550

    Michel Montecrossa about the ‘DUQUESNE WHISTLE‘ song & movie:
    “I sang Bob Dylan’s song ‘DUQUESNE WHISTLE’ from his album 'Tempest' and made a multilayered Non-Violence Topical Cinema-Verité and Consciousness-Stream Fusion-Movie to position my performance effectively
    stimulating in the futuristic virtual and organic context which is my natural artistic homeland. “ - the video is released alongside the 'Michel & Bob Dylan Fest 2012' Album Set

    ReplyDelete
  4. I like it but then I liked "Self portrait" except for the live tracks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do won Self-Portrait but i can't go quite as far as to say I genuinely like it.

      Delete
  5. The album cover's not Dylan-worthy. Strange video, with the violence. So how did Dylan get a posse like that, and is the platinum-haired babe carrying an abacus? I like that the pony-tailed babe drives a Gremlin, must be a reference to George Romney.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bob's still in the tank for Obama ;)

      Delete

Thanks for clicking the COMMENTS link.
Now that you're here,I should mentions that
without reader feedback blogs slowly wither and die