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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The record he has been threatening to make all decade, 13 April 2009
By 
Von (London, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Life and Times (Audio CD)
The buzz created around this album, Mould's third in four years (excluding Blow Off), suggested that this would be a bit special. And that is exactly what it is.

I have liked every Bob Mould album since the early Husker Du days (Sugar's swansong 'F.U.E.L being the one I find most difficult to love)but I think its fair to say this has been a challenging decade for him - although some of the challenges he has admirably created for himself in a bid to not re-tread the same old ground again. 'Modulate' was an interesting experiment in dance-infused terrain which yielded several great songs though didn't quite work as an album (worked amazingly live). 'Body of Song' in 2005 was clearly a labour of love where Bob tried to balance the rock aesthetic, which we all know and love him for, with some of the dance influences he had absorbed since the late 1990's. That was a strong record - about thirty to thirty five minutes of it are just brilliant - but not a Mould masterpiece. Then came 'District Line' last year - the dance edge was almost entirely removed with Bob honing in on the basics and producing his best album so far this decade.

Until Life & Times. The title and cover are both reminiscint of Mould's 1989 classic 1989 release 'Workbook' but he casts his net much wider in terms of tapping into his rich history, alongside infusing some new textures, to generate his most coherent and strongest set of songs since the mid-1990's. So you get little bits of the dark masterpiece 'Bob Mould' in 'Bad Blood Better' and 'Lifetime, some Sugar in 'Spiralling Down' and even a trace of 'Beaster' (still his best work in my view and one of the most powerful thirty minutes ever committed to tape) in 'Wasted World'. It all hangs together wonderfully in a set which is equally energetic and melancholic and powerful. The whole thing sounds fresh and crisp and, clocking in at just 36 minutes, concise.

I bought this last week and have played it umpteen times already. If you are reading this contemplating whether to buy it, I strongly urge you to hit the buy with one click button right now. Hell, get it express delivered while you are at it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent Melancholy, 24 Jan 2010
By 
The Wolf (uk) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Life and Times (Audio CD)
Husker Du were one of my very favorite bands in the 80's.
Bob Mould's song 'Too Far Down' from the 'Candy Apple Grey' album
(1986) was up there with the best that the decade had to offer.

Mr Mould is still a vital force. I think, like a good wine,
his voice has become stronger, more distinctive and refined
with the passing years. 'Life and Times' is a testament to the
endurance and survival of his somewhat dark and doleful muse.

The ten songs in this new collection are all as good anything
he has previously written. The no-frills, economic but edgy
execution of the material packs a big emotional punch.

'City Lights' is a wonderful example of how a relatively
simple melody can be transformed and booted up to a higher
level by the right kind of musical and rhythmic dynamism.

'MM 17' is a four-square rocker. Densely-layered and buzzing
with energetic but beautifully integrated electric guitar work.
(No big gratuitous solos for Mr Mould!)

At just over two minutes long 'Argos' bristles with the kind
of raucous post-punk energy which made Husker Du so great.

'Bad Blood Better' is a blisteringly raw cri de coeur.
The private made public in lyrics of almost unbearable honesty.

'I'm Sorry, Baby, But You Can't Stand In My Light Any More'
is another extraordinarily vivid autobiographical composition.
A song burning with loss, anger and regret for an unhappy ending.

Final track 'Lifetime' is not an easy listen either but
brings the album to an achingly plaintive conclusion.

Magnificently melancholy.

Highly Recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars nice, 18 Jan 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Life and Times (Audio CD)
the cd is great loved it ,good old bob,he does it again.he has been going for years......
get it....you must
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5.0 out of 5 stars Under rated, 10 Sep 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Bob Mould writes magical, wonderful music. Live he has always been stunning. I believe he is massively under appreciated. This is a terrific album, depth and beauty to all the tracks. Consistently great music
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5.0 out of 5 stars Bob is back and it is good., 17 Mar 2010
By 
W. Ancell "Husker Du fan" (Edinburgh) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Life and Times (Audio CD)
Following on from the excellent "District Line", Bob Mould has released another strong album that fans of his work are sure to love.

The production is crisp. clear and richly layered. Bob obviously likes compressors and uses them to great effect. From the opening guitar lines of the title track we are treated to a full-on Bob experience that sounds warm, rich and detailed.

"Bad Blood Better" is the standout track here. "Mm 17" is brilliant, as is the title track and "Spiralling Down" is very reminiscent of Sugar's Copper Blue period.

Overall a satisfying listen and puts recent pop/rock music from new acts in the shade. I'm still amazed that more popular artists have not covered his work and benefitted from his meticulous craftsmanship. His songs have a universal yet highly personal quality that is testament to his tasteful (but uncomrpmising) lyrics.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bob Mould, 9 Jun 2009
This review is from: Life and Times (Audio CD)
Its wonderful that Bob Mould is putting out new albums on an annual basis in particualr since he returned to a more guitar and less electronic style. Even though not all songs are as outstanding as the ones from the Warehouse (with Huesker Due) it is still a good Bob Mould Album. I missed his London concert this year; my loss given his fantastic life performances.
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Life and Times
Life and Times by Bob Mould (Audio CD - 2009)
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