September 7, 2012
Bob Dylan - 'Tempest'
A relentless exploration of bleakness from the 71-year-old
7 / 10
As you may or may not know, Bobby D’s been on a bit of a roll this last decade. This may seem like ages to you, but the guy’s 71(!) and since 2001 he’s released the albums ‘Love And Theft’, ‘Modern Times’ and ‘Together Through Life’ (which are all ace), as well as ‘Christmas In The Heart’, an ode to drunk festive grandadness. So the time is now for his 35th(!) studio album, which features 10 sprawling yarns about the misery in this world. The shuffle of opener ‘Duquesne Whistle’ is deceptive in its upbeatness, because from ‘Soon After Midnight’ (on which Bob grumbles how “a girl named Holly took my money”) onwards, ‘Tempest’ is a relentless exploration of bleakness. Over ‘Narrow Way’’s slide guitar twang he tells a foe, “Your father left you/Your mother too/ Even death has washed its hands of you”, and so on, until the album climaxes with the 14-minute title track about the sinking of the Titanic. It’s like he was there, man.
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