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4.4 out of 5 stars
295
4.4 out of 5 stars
Tempest
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Price:£5.99


on 11 September 2017
This is what we expected, Bob Dylan! I was going to say singing, but is that a step too far?
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on 17 October 2012
This is, without doubt, the best Dylan album to be released in decades. Most of his albums that I have bought in recent years have had one or two good tracks on, such as "Highlands" and "Mississippi", but most of the tracks have been consigned to my mp3 collection with just the occasional play. This was different. Just like some of his earlier offerings I have played the entire album over and over again, allowing the words and music to seep into my conciousness. I've also searched the web for the lyrics, thought about the words, looked for, and perhaps found some hidden meanings - everything you should do with a Dylan album; and probably this is the first time since "Blood on The Tracks" that I have really been excited by a new Dylan offering. Strange really, considering his voice is shot and the music goes back to the 30s and 40s. Of course with Dylan it is the combination of the lyrics and the way he delivers them (cracked voice notwithstanding) combined with music which always seems to be exactly right.

Although many critics would disagree, I regard "Tempest" as the best track on this album. Although it has a very simple melody, comprises 45 verses, and lasts for around 14 minutes, without a single instrumental break, it is hypnotic and as soon as it finishes you want to hear it again. It tells the story of the sinking of the Titanic, but as as you would expect with Dylan there is a lot of ambiguous subtext, partly revolving around early American folklore. Also, as with several other tracks on the album this one borrows heavily from other old folk songs. In this case it is The Carter Family's "Titanic", from which he has not only used the same tune, but in some verses, almost identical lyrics. Similarly "Scarlet Town" lifts words straight out of the folk song of the same name and "Tin Angel" uses the same theme and a couple of (slightly changed) lines from "Black Jack Davy". This is done so blatantly, that it can't be accidental, or lazy, but instead is more likely intended to be a wink to his critics who have been accusing him of plagiarism in recent years. These thinly veiled refrences also show his great respect for early Americana and keeps the music alive and moving on.

This is a very dark album with murders, disasters, strange places and always an undercurrent of menace. It is very difficult to compare this with any of his previous albums, and the nearest comparison I can think of is some of the marvellous work created by Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds. Nick Cave has always been influenced by Dylan and now the influence has been reflected, amplified and bounced back.

In summary: one of his best.
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on 20 February 2013
Great music with lots of feeling.
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on 2 May 2015
It's Dylan. I need not say more.
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VINE VOICEon 11 September 2012
Dylan does it again!

Tempest is simply a fantastic album from start to finish, you'll want to listen again and again.

The sounds used are of familiar territory for Dylan fans of late, again he utilizes those old R&B, rockabilly, country sounds that made Love and Theft and Modern Times so great. The music is not there to be a front runner to the songs, but as a background to Dylan's stories. This means many `tunes' get repetitive, but no more so than Dylan has been doing for decades now. The music sounds just right and the band again are the best since... well The Band.

His vocals are, as usual, the focal point for many reviewers. Indeed he does sound like the cookie monster with laryngitis. However listening to the tales he tells and the driving music it all fits together perfectly and carries a ton of weight behind it. The image on the CD booklet cover of Bob sucking a big cigar is almost a statement that he doesn't care what you want his voice to be.

My favourite tracks right now are probably the rocking blues of 'Early Roman Kings' and the long but so poignant tale of the Titanic in the title track.

This is definitely one of Dylan's best albums of this recent period. There's so much to enjoy in Tempest, a great variety of emotions conveyed and stories told. Just sit back with a good drink and let the old bard tell it.
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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 14 October 2012
After reading previews and reviews of this album I was really looking forward to hearing it. I have really enjoyed some of the great man's later stuff......but not this. To me it seems dull and uninventive musically and lyrically with nothing (yet) that I would want to go back to repeatedly. But some of the reviews here say that it is a grower, and some are rapturous, so I may be missing something. I'll keep trying, but meanwhile the jury's out on this one I'm afraid Bob.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 10 September 2012
Of the accumulated reviews of this new Bob Dylan album its difficult to find one that has not referenced that "Tempest" shares its name with Shakespeare's final play. With the great man into his 70's is the master musician leaving yet another tell tale sign? Let us exhort that this is not the case for on this form you can only plead that long may he run. Whatever Dylan's intentions the title is accurately appropriate since " Tempest" is a dark and often stormy affair notably containing a 14 minute and 45 verses long title song dedicated to the sinking of the Titanic where Dylan throws in some of his most vivid images, torrid tales and pale sorrow not least a Captain who "In the dark illumination, he remembered bygone years/He read the Book of Revelation, filled his cup with tears". It is wordplay of the highest order and actually names check Leonard DiCaprio to bring it all up to date.

The album kicks off with "Duqunese Whistle" sounding like a track from a honky tonk jukebox until Dylan's voice kicks in and commences an excellent railroad song which skips along at a fair old pace as the stations pass by. The lovely country lament "Soon after midnight" follows, so effortless and yet so right. The mood changes quickly for the near eight minute long "Narrow Way" a barbed electric guitar piece which rocks hard enough to performed in garages across the US. Dylan's last proper studio album was "Together through life" in 2009 (let us forget his yuletide abomination in that same year) and that suffered from serious sagging in the mid section (a problem for all men of a certain age). "Tempest" is closer to "Modern times" in this respect since every song fits and it's a solid set not least the excellent trilogy of songs from four to six. This comprises Dylan at his most reflective in the superb "Long and Wasted Years" where the master lyricist concludes that "we cried on that cold and frosty morn/we cried because our souls were torn so much for tears/so much for these long and wasted years". He is at his snarling best in the belligerent "Pay in blood" where his excellent road band provide great support. He also appears to tip a nod to Gillian Welch in "Scarlet town" which appears a distant cousin of the song on "The Harrow and Harvest". It's a great Dylan performance with that old gravelly voice sounding as vital as ever and strong to boot. Next up Muddy Waters "Mannish Boy" provides the backdrop to "Early Roman Kings" with a great David Hidalgo cantina-blues accordion providing the necessary earthy accompaniment. Dylan has always specialised in songs where vengeance is the unifying theme and "Tin Angel" couldn't be further removed from the Joni Mitchell love song of the same name sounding more like a Nick Cave murder ballad with its gory bloodshot finale. Having mentioned the albums huge "Titanic" narrative leaves us finally to touch on "Roll on John" a seven minute tribute to John Lennon starting with his assassination, referencing the Quarrymen, Hamburg and various sources of Beatles legend not least part of the lyric of "A day in the life". At this point it is this reviewers least favourite song on "Tempest" since if it wasn't composed by any one other than Dylan it could sound somewhat gauche and overtly sentimental. It is certainly does not match Paul Simon's "The Late great Johnny Ace" but it's a tender recognition of an old friend and proves that Dylan can be sweet hearted and nostalgic when needed.

This is Dylan's 35th studio album and stands as a firm equal to "Love and Theft" as his best album of the 21st century. We have no right to expect albums this good after all this time and the fact that he continues to confound, puzzle and challenge should be cause for rejoicing. 2012 looks like being the year of the veteran with great albums by Dr John, Paul Buchanan, Bill Fay and Leonard Cohen. And yet amongst all this excellence "Tempest" confirms Dylan's rightful pole position as the greatest storyteller in rock history
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on 3 December 2012
On first hearing the opening track, I thought Dylan had gone all bluegrass and in my view this is probably the weaker track but that is being really picky about a cd crammed full of killer guitar rifts, wonderful melodies, killer lyrics and one liners all sung with a voice that sounds as though it has been matured in a Jack Daniels whiskey barrel and which Dylan has tailored perfectly to suit his material. And to cap it off a classic Dylan 14 minute story about the Titanic sung in waltz time filled with characters. And that's even before mentioning the 7 minute Scarlet Town. Wonderful!!.
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on 13 October 2012
Hearing this CD reminded me of the great songs by Bob Dylan on the 2001 album ''Love And Theft'. The tracks have those same great riffs and catchy tunes that was the best thing about 'Love And Theft' and as has been the standard for the past 20 years, some great lyrics to compliment the wonderful music.
One thing I am not happy with is the tiny booklet included with the CD (the standard edition). The booklet if you can call it that only has who played on the album and a picture of the band. No songs lyrics were included. Apparently if you want the extra info you need to pay extra for the so called 'deluxe' edition, i'm not sure what to say about the way music is being marketed these days but all I will say is the music fan is the big loser.
However it's all about the music here and this album is a superb collection of great songs that I am sure I will enjoy playing again and again as I have with many of my Bob Dylan collection.
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