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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dylan still producing the goods
This recording features Dylan's gutsy blues style that has been present on and off throughout his career. It is not a classic, but still better than could be expected for someone of 68, showing that he is perhaps returning more and more, via his track choices and sentiments to his early rural youth influences, and the folk/blues that is indelibly imprinted in his soul...
Published on 30 April 2009 by MJHulme

versus
35 of 41 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Extreme.....
It's interesting, the wide ranging opinions on this and the last few Bob albums.... Whichever reviewer said 'stop at Time Out Of Mind' as the rest is drivel' must have cotton wool in their ears - as did Daniel Lanois when he produced Time Out Of Mind... That album had 4 great songs on it, 1 very good one and the rest is pretty dull and sounds like it was recorded...
Published on 3 May 2009 by Samson Briggs


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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dylan still producing the goods, 30 April 2009
By 
MJHulme (Edinburgh Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Together Through Life (Audio CD)
This recording features Dylan's gutsy blues style that has been present on and off throughout his career. It is not a classic, but still better than could be expected for someone of 68, showing that he is perhaps returning more and more, via his track choices and sentiments to his early rural youth influences, and the folk/blues that is indelibly imprinted in his soul. The lyrics alternate between light and dark, nothing too profound, but musically this sound from his latest band is very good indeed including the feature of the much wondered about accordian. Well done Bob, keep 'em coming, and your lifetime fans guessing what the next one will be like.
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58 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars better than touted, 28 April 2009
By 
P. D. Warburton (london, england) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Together Through Life (Audio CD)
I think this is a better record than most of the critics I've read have said. It's not so much about words, though there are some great lines here and there. Throughout the album, Dylan treads a fine line between bathos and banality. No, it's about sound. 'Jack Frost' has really done his time in the galleys and come of age here. It's warm, deeply human, somewhat fetid, yet bright, alive and immediate. Gone is the single coil brilliance of the Larry Campbell/Charlie Sexton period. Instead, we have the darker humbucking sound of Mike Campbell. Add to that the brilliance of David Hidalgo's accordian work, a sound that so suits Dylan it's amazing he hasn't used it more in the past, and you end up with a tight, unified sound. This is a minor collection, to be sure, but one with an overall unity which is absent from earlier Dylan albums which fall into this category. Taken on its own terms, I think it's very good indeed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bob Dylan - Maintaining cruise control, 4 May 2009
By 
Red on Black - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Together Through Life (Audio CD)
Dylan is anything but predictable but at least once a decade he turns out a bona fide masterpiece. Think "Blood on the tracks" (1975) Oh Mercy (1989) and the stunning Time out of Mind (1997). The sixties of course was one long assault on convention that led to the greatest oeuvre in all of rock music. "Together through life" his 33rd album does not fall into this category and neither should we expect it to. Indeed taken with Love and Theft and Modern Times it could be seen as a final part of a trilogy albeit probably the weakest one. That said what is different in the past decade is that the quality control has never dramatically dipped in the way it did on some of his awful 1980s albums (Dylan and the Dead in particular is one of the worse albums of all time). Dylan is on a roll and he is everywhere. It's no surprise that the album is No 1.

"Together" is a warm and beautifully constructed album punctuated with Tex Mex, Rock n Roll and the blues. Dylan's voice is still his best instrument and the songs are hugely enjoyable. There is nothing as venomous as "Idiot Wind, as moody as "Man in the long black coat" as profound as "Not Dark Yet". There is nevertheless the gorgeous "This dream of you" the rocking "Jolene" and the brilliant "Beyond here lies nothing". The backing band is tight as a size 14 shirt and the production crystal. Most importantly Dylan is loving it and probably has another 33 albums up his sleeve. I for one can't wait to hear them.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Have you gone stark raving mad, 1* reviewers?, 10 Jun. 2012
By 
Mr Nostalgia (Manchester, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Together Through Life (Audio CD)
I can only assume that some of the reviewers on here listened to this album on a cheap, portable cd player, while sitting in a doorway and drinking meths. Some say this is a worse album than 'Infidels' and 'Empire Burlesque'!! Have you gone stark raving mad or just plain bonkers? While not one of Bob's greatest albums, it still contains a solid collection of old time rockers and blues numbers to satisfy any Dylan fan. Listen to the record a few times and let the vibe sink in and hopefully you'll see what I mean. The stand out track for me is 'Shake Shake Mama'.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sounding like an old blues man!, 12 May 2009
By 
Michael Nicholl (Derry. Ireland) - See all my reviews
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Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Together Through Life (Audio CD)
Although I am a massive Bob Dylan fan, I do find his later offerings a little harder to get into, and 'Together Through Life' is no exception. There are no bad tracks, but again no really outstanding ones either. If I was pushed into it I would have to say that 'Shake Shake Mama' which has hints of his mid 60s work in its arrangement is the pick of the crop. Overall it is the more up-tempo tracks that are catching my ear at present with their New Orleans blues feel. This will be a grower rather than an immediate album, and it would be fair to say that it is 'Modern Times Revisited'. Maybe we still expect Dylan to be continually breaking new ground and proving himself. That is something he no longer needs to do. He has been there, shown us all how it is done and the world is still trying to catch up with him. He has every right to settle into a comfortable groove and it is a good groove! Together Through Life is certainly well worth inclusion in your collection, especially if you are a Dylan fan, and even if you are not.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comparing is a mistake, 13 Oct. 2010
This review is from: Together Through Life (Audio CD)
I'm strongly attached to a very large part of Dylan's recorded performances, but the rule has to be when new material is recorded by him,'Don't compare'. His choice of musicians, the total number of them and his use of them would be hard to equal, and he normally has a very keen ear in matching the band to his current material. I believe that's what we should be listening for here. The sound is assured, but almost casual, even careless. It is sharply focussed but loose, almost louche in tone. I think that means he's saying he doesn't give a ........ any more. He's getting older, perspectives are changing in his mind; even more than ever, like the bluesman he always was, he's playing to his own satisfaction. I think it's pretty easy to enter into that satisfaction; I also think that's how he sees it himself in this recording. Though not at the very top of my list of his work,I rate this an excellent album and thoroughly recommend it.
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35 of 41 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Extreme....., 3 May 2009
This review is from: Together Through Life (Audio CD)
It's interesting, the wide ranging opinions on this and the last few Bob albums.... Whichever reviewer said 'stop at Time Out Of Mind' as the rest is drivel' must have cotton wool in their ears - as did Daniel Lanois when he produced Time Out Of Mind... That album had 4 great songs on it, 1 very good one and the rest is pretty dull and sounds like it was recorded through a wall.
Love and Theft was far better and for my money, Modern Times was better still. I can't see what is 'dull' about it and still listen to it regularly.
This one however, is a bit dull.... It's alright, it's got a couple of very good songs, it sounds like they had a good time making it, it all sounds fine because the band are good, but there is a distinct lack of depth to 'Together Through Life', which ensures that, while I'm pleased to have heard it, I know I won't still be playing it regularly in 2012.
There are two reasons for this. Firstly, the mining of old blues tunes has started to sound tired and secondly, the decision to write with Robert Hunter has ensured that the lyrical quality is not sufficient to take your eye off the afore-mentioned, tired-sounding musical framework.
Hunter is no Dylan, but seems to try to be, so we get faux Dylanisms which Bob would never have written. Songs such as 'My Wife's Home Town' and 'It's All Good' sound kind of dumb, rather like 'Silvio' and 'The Ugliest Girl In THe World' from 'Down In The Groove', co-written with...erm... Robert Hunter.
The dilution of Dylan by Hunter diminishes the intelligence, artfulness and emotional impact of the words, and the 'adapted / adopted' melodies aren't strong enough to compensate for this. I've enjoyed my few listens, but if I were dumped on the proverbial desert island with one of the last 4 Dylan albums, I would be considerably happier in the company of 'Working Man's Blues No 2' and 'Nettie Moore'

As a foot note, I noticed there were several reviews on here before the album came out, saying things like 'This should be good' or 'this won't be good as it's too soon after the last one. I don't know why someone would think it was helpful to adorn the REview section with their guesswork regarding the possible quality of something they haven't heard yet.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DYLAN'S OUT ON HIS OWN AGAIN, 30 May 2009
By 
J. C. H. Mounsey (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Together Through Life (Audio CD)
This is an extraordinary record. The sound that Dylan is making both vocally and instrumentally is unique. It sounds like nothing else around: who would have thought that the accordion (forever, to British ears at least, associated with cheesy French songsters like Charles Aznavour and Maurice Chevalier) could ever swing like it does on 'Together through Life'? Even Dylan's ruined voice sounds amazing: his phrasing has never been better and there are some pretty good tunes, as well as lyrics that make you laugh out loud - 'Down by the river, Judge Simpson walking around/ Down by the river, Judge Simpson walking around/Nothing shocks me more than that old clown' Hard to beat.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good stuff, 3 May 2009
This review is from: Together Through Life (Audio CD)
It's not a mind-blowing collection of meaningful songs, let's get that straight. It's a laid back look to the past, the songs being mainly bluesy, some slow, some faster - but mainly excellent and fun. Really that's the crux - it's enjoyable to listen to. Yes, maybe the lyrics aren't quite what we expect from Dylan in terms of complexity etc but this album was churned out pretty fast... and the humour is there for sure. who cares how many veiled bible references there are?
The first 3 songs are the weak point for me, after that it picks up real momentum and doesn't let up until the end. Def recommended if you liked the last few Dylan albums. The accordion, while sounding like a weird instrument choice at first, works so well - very cool...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Chicargo meets Louisiana, 17 July 2009
By 
G. A. Trotter "rhythm & lyric" (Hampshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Together Through Life (Audio CD)
Another pacey blues session from Jack Frost, coloured with the mix of guitar and accordion setting this apart from recent recordings by its seductive cajun ambiance. Praise to Tony Garnier for his sustained neck rolling depth and velvet progressions, even though only coming within a gnats whisker of the standard he set on Modern Times.

Again the lyrical nostalgia prevails, reflecting down the track to Ed Badeaux' Houston, but with a gathering optimism since Time Out of Mind, particularly with "I Feel a Change Comin' on". Even so, there are still the comforting ironies of "Wife's Home Town", the passion of "Jolene" and cynicism of "It's All Good" to remind you where you are.
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Together Through Life by Bob Dylan (Audio CD - 2009)
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