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4.2 out of 5 stars118
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 16 September 2006
The music is excellent, and I suspect we'll see a lot of these in live performance in the future. His live habit of jumping the octave at the end of the phrase makes an occasional appearance here (although it is used more sparingly than on stage). But many of these are songs made for performing.

Four stars, because the tight package the CD/DVD combo comes in has already scratched my CD to the point where it skips. Probably many of the reviewers here haven't put it away yet so they haven't noticed! But this for me means returning the package and getting hold of the CD only version, which comes with a much more protective standard case.

As others note, the DVD is nice, but short, more an advertisement for some of his other 90s albums than anything else. No doubt YouTube would serve equally well. And it's scratched too.
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on 6 September 2006
I've already written a swift review of this album after listening to a friends copy. Since then I've bought the dvd special edition, I did this thinking the extra money paid might be wasted (I bought from a high street retailer and it was actually an extra fiver!) but upon watching the dvd I am glad I shelled out the extra spondulicks. It doesn't actually say what is on the extra dvd in the amazon listing so I'm going to give you a quick rundown and review of the extra video tracks.

Track 1- Blood in my eyes- This is the promotional video for the single release from "World Gone Wrong" it's a sparse arrangement (just bob on guitar) of an old blues song but it's a great song and great performance. It's the video itself that's a revelation (until I bought modern times I didn't even know it existed), it features Bob in a top hat wandering around Camden, signing autographs and generally looking ecentric. The direction and cinematography (it's one of those arty, sepia affairs) are both great and the whole thing manages to look very natural and uncontrived.

Track 2- Love Sick. This is a live version from the Grammy's. "Love Sick" has always been my favourite track on "Time Out of Mind" and this is a superb version of it. Bob looks amazing wearing that white southern suit he always seemed to be wearing around this time, and he even plays some pretty cool lead guitar. Just out of interest there is a video of the White Stripes cover version of this song on the web that's pretty interesting.

Track 3- Things Have Changed- Another great promo video, this time from Curtis Hanson's "Wonder Boy's" film. Again a great song that if you are anything like me you don't listen to very often due to it not being on an album. Hanson himself directs and it seems to have been filmed on the original sets, it is filmed and cut in such a way that Dylan is inserted into the film. For example it appears that Katie Holmes is asking him rather than Toby Maguire to dance. He has really good screen presence throughout, the boy's got star quality.

Track 4- "Cold Irons Bounds"- a radically different (and in my opinion better) rendition of another "Time Out of Mind" track. Segments of this feature in the "Masked and Anymous" film which was written by none other than Jack Frost. However hear you have the full uninterrupted track filmed from one camera angle. And what a great camera angle it is, Dylan in the foreground with a guitarist over each shoulder and the drummer in the background. It's cool to see a whole performance without lots of flashy cutaways especially if it is done in a thoughtfully composed way.

All in all I would say it was definately worth getting the "limited" edition, especially as at amazon it is only a couple of extra quid plus you get a much nicer case for your cd and dvd!
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on 4 November 2006
I am a big fan of Bob dylans music and own many of his albums. I really enjoyed his early solo acoustic music and his early electric period. Albums like Blood on tracks are also excellent.

I could never get into some of his later albums and feel Dylan lost a certain something that made his earlier material such genious.

I was'nt sure what to expect from Modern times, but I was pleasantly surprised. Every song on this album has a unique sound and feel. The songs have a pleasant sound of Blues and Jazz. It made me feel like I listening to music from years ago. The range of musical sounds on Modern times is absolutely amazing. Dylans voice really does shine and specially on the softer tracks. Spirit on the water has to be my favourite track, but they are all excellent.

Modern Times shows that Dylan is still a highly talented songwriter and musician. Dylan fans will no doubt be interested in this album, but I think it could appeal to previously non Dylan listeners.
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on 9 September 2006
Dylan is never going to write another 'Desolation Row' or 'It's alright Ma'. Modern Times lyrically does not say anything that he hasn't said before. The world is still going to Hell and he sings about it with a voice that is going the same way. There are no great melodies.

So why is it such a great album?

This is Dylan's triumph as record producer and bandleader. The sound is wonderful, almost like listening to live music, the band is as tight as a duck's a*se, and that voice (I'm upping my cigarette consumption) is perfect. The opener `Thunder on the mountain' just bounces along, if you don't get up and dance (in Chuck Berry style) and sing to this then see a doctor. And who else but Dylan could rhyme "sons of bitches" with "orphanages". I've been playing this CD continually for a week and am still not skipping any tracks which is something that's never happened before. I hope we don't have to wait another 5 years for the next one.
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on 22 October 2006
Just wondeful, wise and warm, can't stop playing it. I'm no Dylan fanatic by any means, I've only a few albums by the great monument - that's the trouble, there is so much adoring drivel and pseudo "controversy" dragged up by critics - I'm glad I just bought this on impulse one day, and am amazed to find myself writing that I think it is as good as "Blonde On Blonde" or "The Basement Tapes" and a just a little way behind "Blood On The Tracks." Amazing that he should reach such heights after so many years and so many albums.
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on 27 March 2007
I, too, saw Bob Dylan at the Isle of Wight Pop Concert in 1969 and have always been a fan. I bought this album in trepidation due to some of the reviews on here but I have to say that I'm very relieved and utterly delighted. Modern Times is a matured Dylan, a calmer Dylan - yes OK, an older Dylan. But so what? Most of his audience are growing older with him. I for one thoroughly enjoy these songs and absolutely love "Workingman's Blues", "Thunder on the Mountain", "Rollin' and Tumblin'" - yeah, alright - most of them. There's lots of great stuff that reminds me of many other artists as well as Dylan (e.g. "The Levee's Gonna Break" is pure JJ Cale) So - shock! horror! - Dylan is singing middle of the road songs. Well, we've been here before, and I loved it then: Self Portrait ... "All The Tired Horses", oh yes!

My advice to you: if you are a real Dylan fan go out and get this album. You will not be disappointed.
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on 24 August 2006
Bob Dylan may be 65 but if only a lot of the songwriters we have these in these modern times could write songs as powerful as these. Bob completes the trilogy started with Time out of mind and Love and Theft with an album that creeps up on you. On first listen you think that a lot of these songs sound unremarkable but they worm their way into your head.That's honestly how I felt at first!

The album starts of very lively theres a crescendo of guitars and then we head off into "Thunder On the Mountain" which reminded me of an updated kind of "Subteranean Homesick Blues" which like the latter has slight echoes of Chuck Berry its a stormer of a track which grabs your ears and your attention.

At first listen the next track "Spirit On the Water" passes you by play it a few times and you realise it has a beautiful melody and when Bob kicks in with a lovely harmonica solo at the end the song leaves you spellbound as do many of dylan's songs in the end.One regret I have towards Bob's later work is that he doesn't really use the harmonica in his new songs amd it adds something to the songs or it used to.

"Rumblin' and Tumblin'" takes its title and the main riff from a Muddy Waters song but isn't a cover in the true sense of the word just a true example of love and theft. Bob and the band have a good time with this song.

We then slow down with the delightful "When the deal goes down" which has some lovely lyrics and suits Bob's worn vocals which adds to the emotion of it, its lovely.

Someday Baby" is my least favourite song so far but it's Bob and so still worth a listen "Workingman blues no 2" is another heartbreaker "My cruel weapons have been put on the shelf ,come sit down on my knee ,You are dearer to me than myself ,As you yourself can see, I'm listening to the steel rails hum

Got both eyes tight shut ,Just sitting here trying to keep the hunger from Creeping it's way into my gut" no one writes lyrics like Bob and no one ever will it's why despite some low points in his career hes gone the distance.

I think the next song " Beyond the horizon" is the most instant recalling "Moonlight" from Love and Theft I like this song but it may end up being the forgotten classic on this album.

"Nettie Moore" is my favourite song at the moment it has a great chorus and again Bob's voice adds to the mood of the song. "The Levee's gonna Break" is a blues shuffle which is growing on me .

Modern Times closes with "Ain't Talkin'" its a dark epic song a "Gates Of Eden" or "desolation row" of its time its a GREAT song there isnt much between this and "nettie moore" for the best song on the album but with Bob's music I tend to find my favourite songs change all the time so when I say I've got a favourite on this album just ignore me. Musically it recalls one of Bob's greatest songs for me "Blind Willie McTell" but has its own identity too.

This album is more consistent than Love and Theft I think and it's a grower it will knock you out but very slowly which is what a great album should do and makes it a very rewarding listening expierience for it.

It will be debated upon but I think Dylan has come up with another classic record very different from his time in the 60's but still as powerful. I also think Bob's current voice adds a charm and expressiveness to these songs that you could miss. While Bob may have a voice you either love or hate (I love it) if you are willing to listen nobody puts a song across like him he is a great singer and always has been just not in the contempory sense maybe.
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on 15 April 2007
Everyone appears to have an opinion about Mr Dylan and over a long career where he has been lauded as anything from the second coming to the devil incarnate, why should he care what anyone thinks of him? This is a great album, on which for a 65 year old, he perfoms well and seems to be enjoying himself. Okay so his voice is an aquired taste and maybe he does mumble a bit here and there, but he is stil a vital and brilliant artist, who put across a song like no other. I am not saying he can do no wrong but give the guy a break, he deserves to be heard and this Cd in my humble judgement is a delight.
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on 3 March 2007
In a legendary 1965 interview, Dylan was asked if he considered himself a poet or a songwriter. He replied, famously, "I think of myself more of a song and dance man." Everyone laughed because they thought he was being cool and ironic. But as so often with Dylan, time has shown he was probably being blandly honest. In recent years, and especially in concert, it is clear that he is a song and dance man. This album is full of enjoyable, swinging, toe-tapping tracks - kind of like Tennessee Ernie Ford meets Chuck Berry. Lyrically, it's not his best, and yet the lyrics seem appropriate. "When the deal goes down", for example, seems filled with cliches ("In still of the night", "Pathways of life" etc) yet within that country-gospel genre it works well and is very moving and beautifully sung. "Levee's gonna break" has a nursery-rhyme insistence that hammers home everytime the refrain returns. "Workingman's blues" and "Nettie Moore" are dignified and unique - can't imagine any contemporary songwriters dreaming these up. As for "Ain't talkin'" it goes into that dark, spiritual place that is Dylan's unique territory, but still has a beat that makes you want to move. Overall, this is an enjoyable album - one of the few Dylan albums you can listen to all the way through and enjoy all the tracks.
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on 27 September 2006
Having been a Dylan fan since I was 3, im now 44, it is very hard for me not to want to charge in and buy everything dylan does and straight away. After seeing him live last year in Birmingham I knew that Dylans music had moved forwards, I was ready for the creative sound to become more affluent.

Well to be honest, this is Dylan moving with the times, he has a solid reputation for being what he wants to be and damn what people think. Well good for Bob, he has produced an album which still has the old flavours of dylans voice but brings in a very bluesy feeling to the music itself.

You either like Dylan or you dont, but as the album suggests, modern times, and modern production is what is making Dylan an icon for many of todays youth. This is by no means Dylans best offering, but it is lively, speedy and gives a modern day flavour to some oldish beat. A good album for the serious dylan fan.

It is not hard to understand why Bob dylans creative flair make him probably the greatest musical influence of the 20th century. You will not be dissapointed unless you are still digging the graveyard for Dylans accoustic guitar to come back out.
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