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Together through life: Bob Dylan - It's all good!,
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This review is from: Together Through Life (Audio CD)
Through the eighties and much of the nineties Bob Dylan seemed a bit of a spent force, producing albums that were uninteresting, and much as it pains me to say it, not very good. He peaked in 1989 with the amazingly good Oh Mercy, but then released 3 lesser efforts in the early `90s. Then, in '97 he came out of the blocks with Time Out Of Mind, which is one of (in my opinion!) his best albums and up there with Highway 61 revisited. This seems to have reinvigorated his creative muse, and since then he has released a slew of really good albums, including this corker.
Dylan the innovator is back in the saddle for this release. He takes instruments not often heard in modern music (when was the last time you heard an accordion so prominently in an album?) and not only uses them, but uses them in a way that no one has done before (when was the last time you heard an accordion swinging?). His style and tone has shifted once again, and some of the melancholy and introspection of recent albums gives way to an almost joyous outpouring as Dylan growls along in an upbeat fashion. He sounds really into what he is doing (something lacking from early `90s albums!) and a classic record is the result. Always an artist to wear his heart on his sleeve, Dylan's music has always closely reflected what is going on in his life. The genius albums (eg Blood On The Tracks) have sprung from adversity in his life, or when he was writing with real anger about something. The lesser albums seem to come from times when Dylan was bored with the world and with his success. Here he seems to have overcome that boredom to really get into the music again, and the joy expressed in this album suggests that he is now a reasonably happy and contented man.
The star track, for me, is My Wife's Home Town. Using Willie Dixon's composition I Just Want To Make Love To You as the template, Dylan and co lay down a classic swinging blues groove, and the new lyrics a re brilliant. Throughout Dylan sings with his trademark off key raspy growl, which may not be to everyone's taste, but is absolute honey on my ears.
5 stars for this cracking record, and here's hoping that there is more to come from His Bobness.