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THE RETURN OF THE KING,
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This review is from: Modern Times [CD + DVD] (Audio CD)
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.