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VINE VOICETOP 500 REVIEWERon 31 December 2012
Dylan seems to be a very divisive musician - people seem to either love him or hate him. I'm in the former camp, but with reservations. His output over the years has varied greatly in quality and enjoyability, but you'll rarely find two Dylan fans who agree on which song is treasure and which is trash. Such a beast was his last album, Together Through Life (apart from the Christmas album, which I try not to count). I found it to be tired, lacking in ideas and, musically, redundant. Other Dylan fans will disagree, as it received its fair share of critical praise. This did mean that I wasn't exactly salivating with anticipation when I saw that Bob was releasing a new album this year, but, thankfully, Tempest is one of the best Dylan albums of the last couple of decades, certainly up there with Love & Theft, Modern Times and Time Out Of Mind. Unlike his last studio album of original material, Tempest sounds fresh, urgent and the lyrics have a sense of purpose and creativity. Of course, Bob's voice isn't getting any more youthful and the way he growls his way through the album will probably only ever appeal to Dylan fans, much in the same way Cohen or Waits polarise music lovers with their delivery. My favourite tracks include "Roll On John", a tribute to John Lennon which starts with his assassination and then goes on to reference so much of his remarkable life, the title track, "Tempest", a fourteen minute long epic poem set to music about the Titanic and the chugging, 1920s-influenced "Duquesne Whistle". It's all extremely good, though - not the best thing he has ever done, but certainly enough to restore my faith in his songwriting ability.
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on 22 October 2012
It is amazing the number of reviews for this new Bob Dylan album on Amazon in comparison to what is possibly his most revered release Blood On The Tracks. Most reviewers do appear to award this a 5 star rating and whilst I feel that this is a very welcome return to form, this reviewer feels that a 4 star rating provides a truer reflection of the quality and content (In reality I feel that somewhere between a 4 and 5 star rating would be right). Every album release by his Bobness certainly since Bringing It All Back Home in the mid 1960s through to and including Slow Train Coming in 1978 were by and large superb with only a few momentary lapses in reason (Dylan / Self portrait / The Basement Tapes). Since 1978 I for one have found most Dylan album releases wanting with a few exceptions (Time out Of Mind & Modern Times & Together Through Life were good but not outstanding). This new release (Tempest) would appear to be a very welcome return to the form of old. We see a return to the long 'story book' songs typical of Dylan, and what is more important the melodies resemble those typical of his earlier work with the single exception of the opening song (Duquesne Whistle). It was this opening track which I first heard played on radio several weeks ago and based on this one song I had initially written this album off as another version of Love & Theft / Modern Times & Together Through Life and was prepared to ignore it. A few weeks after this Ralph McClean reviewed the album in depth on his Friday night show on BBC Radio Ulster and what I then heard changed my opinion.

The opening song I can take or leave and I feel that it sits uneasily with the rest of the album's content. In reality it sounds like an out-take for Love & Theft / Modern Times or Together Through Life. Track 2 'Soon After Midnight' makes a subtle change and the album settles into an altogether different mood. From this point on I feel that Bob seldom puts a foot wrong. His vocals which on recent releases have sounded very rough and gravelly, appear to improve in quality as the album progresses. There are times you can hear traces of his late 1980s voice from his Traveling Wilburys era. For me the pick of the tracks presented here are Tin Angel / Scarlet Town / Early Roman Kings. No doubt others will come onto my radar as time passes. Whilst I am slow to proclaim this to be a Dylan classic, I will admit that it has that potential. Only time will tell. If This is a CD I place in my player in years to come then it shall have made classic status at least in my books.
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on 11 October 2012
Well done Bob. Released 50 years after his first studio album. Shame it did not get the publicity accorded the those four mop heads from Liverpool, the name of that band escapes me!

Bob on good form with ten new songs about love, betrayal, corruption etc.all delivered in his own inimitable way. His selected group of backing musicians add to the quality of the disc, especially David Hidalgo on guitar,accordion and violin. Rather like you might think Levon, Rick and Richard would have developed into if only they had lived to tell the tale ?

The title track is a 14 minute tale based on the sinking of the Titanic overlaid with Bob's own musings and other highlights is a rollicking opening with Duquesne Whistle, Early Roman Kings about the varying nature of crooks and liars from olden times to the present day and a tender tribute to John Lennon, one of those mop heads mentioned earlier, with Roll On John. Tin Angel is a tale of love and betrayal and all in all this is a fine piece of work from a true icon of popular music.

For those who are followers of Shakespeare it is well known that The Tempest was the bard's final work and comments have been made that Bob sought to use this name as he was/is intending that this disc his 'sign-off' ? Let's hope this is not the case !
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on 14 January 2013
Some will tell you they love this album, others that they hate it, some love these two tracks but not the rest, some love all but the title track.

There seems no shortage of varying opinion: Everything from in depth analysis and praise for every track to a simple "what a load of bol...

So for what it is worth I will say that I like every track on Tempest and that the more I listen to it the more I like it. It doesn't have the instant appeal that other Dylan albums have had for me (for example Love And Theft,Time Out of MindorModern Times), but it gets five stars from me.
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on 13 October 2012
The latest Bob Dylan album titled "Tempest" had been issued at the time when his first album was issued 50 years ago shows the cigar-smoking rocker is still going strong as I issue this review. Unlike some of the earlier recent issues, this one album with its songs take some time to get used to and that I played it more than five times. Most of the songs were played in usual Dylan sound with mixture of Jazz, Funk or in a slightly Gospel feel as it is perhaps the reason why the "tempest" is applied to the album's title. Except for the co-writen No.1 track, the songs were all writen by Dylan himself and generally, this is a good album.
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on 6 December 2012
If not a Dylan fan and you stumbled on this album, you'd be most surprised how brilliant it is. As a Dylan fan, I know how great he is but this is his best album for a while. From playing for the first listen , this album just sucks you in and takes you on a journey that is a brilliant ride. Nobodyelse, and I mean nobody, can write such descriptive lyrics. They are classics - whitty, thought provoking, melancholy and uplifting. A must for every Dylan fan and for the first-timer, go on give it a try - you won't be disappointed.
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on 15 December 2015
Great album if you accept Dylan is now like the old blues men he admired as a young man. Plenty of good material Including the epic (IMO) title track The defiant voice of youth and despair has been replaced by a raspy old blues singer.
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on 7 December 2012
Good, but musically so and so. Everybody knows that the man writes wonderful lyrics so it is little if any surprise that he hit it again lyricwise. However, being his age and familiar with all of his roots I have heard most of the music on this album before. Thinking of the great melodies Dylan gave us I had expected a bit more fresh and more personal stuff and less carboncopies of songs of old. But then again he'd then have to sing real melodies where the obvious decline of his vocal capabilty most likely were in the way.
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on 11 October 2012
This is many things- funky, haunting, bluesy, folky, country, honky tonk, mournful, with a bit of love thrown in.
Each track is very different, and the words are evocative and poetic. What also makes this such a powerful and enjoyable album is the voice- rough,cracked but each song is beautifully sung, with emotion, and some of that old Dylan style heard in his early albums.
If you were/are a fan of Dylan I highly recommend this album, and if you've never listened to his stuff before then you might be very surprised how much these songs haunt you.
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on 24 November 2013
This is one of the best Bob Dylan albums I've listened to and I keep listening to it over and over. It's great. - Very harmonic with his band and more "developed" than many of the other albums of recent years. A bit of blues, country, slow rock, folk and lyrics to dive into. I've not heard any negative comments of anyone who's listened to Bob Dylan before (is there anyone at all??). I would definitely recommend this to anyone.
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