|Together Through Life
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Standard: 1CD of 10 new tracks in a jewel box with a four-panel insert.
Together Though Life, produced by Jack Frost, was prompted by the composition of a new song, "Life Is Hard," which was written for a forthcoming film by French director Oliver Dahan (La Vie En Rose). Bob Dylan's latest studio album was recorded late last year and features 10 new songs including "Beyond Here Lies Nothin'" and "It's All Good." This will be the 46th release from Dylan, following his Platinum album Modern Times which debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top 200 chart in 2006.
2009 release from the Rock legend. Together Through Life was recorded late last year and features 10 new songs including 'Life Is Hard', 'Beyond Here Lies Nothin'' and 'It's All Good.' This album is the 46th release from Dylan, and follows 2006's platinum-selling album Modern Times, which debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top 200 and reached the top of the charts in seven additional countries and the Top 5 in 22 countries around the world. Bob Dylan's three previous studio albums have been universally hailed as among the best of his storied career, achieving new levels of commercial success and critical acclaim for the artist.
- Beyond here lies eternity for Dylan...
this can't be possible... in an age where most so called "artists" are scrumbling through recycled patterns, melodies, lyrics, and image... in comes Dylan with yet another masterpiece. Do not expect another 'Love and Theft'... it is not. This is one that does not require heavy thought into its point of existance... it simply asks for some kind attention, a laid back attitude... and a freewheelin' mind... impressive!!...more info
- Dylan Does It Again
Bob Dylan: Together Through Life Songbook PVG
I'm driving my 64 1/2 Mustang convertible in the Arizona sun, listening to Bob Dylan. Just like I did 40 years ago. Just like I'm doing today. As I've aged, he has. I like to think we've grown up together, getting wiser as time goes by. Read what Alex Beam in the Boston Globe has to say in Dylanology 101, March 20, 2009.
Dylan has been here, there, everywhere. I've seen him in big venues and little ones. I've taken my children and their friends. They've taken me.
Together Through Life is superb. Incredible. There is always a new favorite song or line . . .
- Like an ANCIENT rolling stone....just give it up old fart...
The Vietnam War ended 30 years ago you stinkin' hippie! Your music was never relevant and isn't today either. Plus, Bob Dylan has terrible vocals and the instrumental part of his albums is nothing to brag about.
For good rock n' roll listen to Nickleback or As I Lay Dying.
Old man....go play the lotto and drink prune juice....more info
- A Bit Unfinished, But....
Like another revered generational song writer of some note, Lou Reed, Dylan can make 2 or 3 gems in a row and then gets a bit "tired" in format. Reed too has been fingered by the journalists for the trilogy moniker, and usually at about that 3rd inflection, the past is colliding with the next big thing. Must be a creative roundabout. Nonetheless, no one has really kept his ear to the rural train rails better than Bob Dylan in as many years as I can remember (I bought my first Dylan vinyl in 1967, in 7th grade, and have followed this remarkable writer since then). It all boils down to material and on TTL I think it is about 75% filled out. I agree with the critic here who wrote that this will become a different album in the next few months as he tours with it. Remember, the art masters drew in sketches first, and then, full blown Starry Nights. So, listen up to this and the 3 albums prior to get close to his current zeitgeist. I doubt if we will see the likes of this incredible wordsmith any time soon. God bless you Bob!...more info
- bob, in a new phase....
liked 'modern times' better, but it's just a cool thing to follow bob and see where he goes next.... what he's said about the album recently in interviews makes it more interesting....but as an overall album, wouldn't say it's a favorite...but he's doing what he's doing......more info
- Bob Dylans new cd
I have always looked forward to his music. This one has some good songs and some not so good, not typical to me. I am not sure I would recomend it or not. Maybe should have just purchased the few songs I like on Itunes....more info
- OH YES, JACK FROST IS STILL THE BEST ----OH NO ZYDECO!?
I have a hard time with accordians. In small doses they can make great music, but sometimes they rag my nerves, and give the music a sense of cheapness (just my opinion). Bob Dylan in the Jack Frost years has been celebrating roots music. I am a huge fan of everything he has been doing since 2001, and this album is no exception, his gutteral, coarse deliveries on these songs is as pure and infectious as on the last albums... even though accordians are tough for me to take.
Seems like Dylan and crew were looking for that Zydeco groove this time around. I've gone to Rythym and Roots festivals in the past and have seen this breed, zydeco is a big part of what I call "heritage music." To me though, its not much different than polka. again, in small doses accordians can give alot to a song,,, in the opening track BEYOND HERE LIES NOTHING from this album, the accordian presents a strong, somewhat dark undertone, that I completely dig, but on several other tracks the accordian jumps into the front of things and completely zydecos it up. I cant help but yell cheese at it sometimes, and other times I have visions of the italian restraunt owner playing nice for the Lady and the Tramp. Producer Jack Frost knows whats up and how he does, its all good.
For me the tracks free of accordian are the albums strongest... FORGETFUL HEART, JOLENE and SHAKE SHAKE MAMA are great... The rest of this album will have to grow on me, but that doesn't mean I dont appreciate how together it sounds. Its more of a collaboritive thing happening here, with Dylan and his band, really soaking up the roots of zydeco and blues. The accordian stuff is a little bit distracting for me, but it hasn't in any way shirked me as a fan of Jack Frost era Dylan. I think my love can grow. THIS DREAM OF YOU channels some good old feelings as well as I FEEL A CHANGE. Jack Frost IS rock and roll. Keep it coming Frost! BTW, its good to see Robert Hunter still writing too.......more info
- It takes a little time
This is not a review of the album per se. Let's start with the cd cover...two guys kissing??..."not that there's anything wrong with that"...
I recommend listening to this after about 4 or so drinks....and at night or as the sun is setting. Tho co-written with Robert Hunter of Grateful Dead fame....the lyrics are very much Dylanesque. The one noted exception is Jolene,which sounds all Hunter. After some listening this album gets better...the music is sound, the band is robust, the lyrics good. The first three songs really tax the ear, with Dylan's voice being quite ragged and straining mightily to hit the right notes...so if you are only familiar with Dylan's greatest hits this album will come as a great shock. If you want to hear new Dylan I'd recommend the previous two releases: Tell tale Signs and Modern Times. This album over multiple listening grows on you. My favorite is "Its All Good"........more info
- Strengthen the things that remain ...
Everyone is commenting how the latest Bob Dylan album has a Mexican bar feel - I would not know as I have never been to a Mexican bar.
Together Through Life - Dylan's 4th masterpiece in a row is a less polished more immediate endeavor than its predecessors - especially Modern Times, which had struck a chord with critics & listeners alike (and Alicia Keys I am sure) as an instant classic. This one is deliberately imperfect (made for an imperfect time in our history I guess), forcedly rushed & more Basement Tapes than any other Dylan record since or before. As if a citizen of a once powerful nation - who is saying he has had enough & just says what he wants to say. When I listened to Time Out of Mind, Love & Theft & Modern Times - they all had this aura of a classic - production compared to the best in the world - lyrics, music, craftsmanship, orchestration - all just came together. This one, on the first go, is more `live' - more in your face - as against studio. Lyrics are simpler (co-written with Hunter) - it is as if he is trying to reach the masses - devils & saints alike - and he is attempting to be more direct, both in delivery & use of words. It is like the old man of the family, at the head of the table, whispering words of wisdom to get better - and no one really cares about.
The singing, the uttering of words, the impeccable timing of the verses and the click-clack of the rhymes is all God's work - Dylan grabs you at the first go. It appears he has been thinking more about singing than ever before and the result is obvious - this is one of the best sung Dylan albums. For the sixties, everything Blonde & Blonde & before - that was sheer talent - the words, the voice, the feel, the urgency & the absolute & utter sense of timing .., this one the other hand is created carefully even with a feel of being urgent & immediate, a maestro in his golden years preserving his glory. I have not heard Dylan `sing' any better in a long time - this is as good as it gets.
Compact discs usually don't pronounce the same warmth as wax of the olden times for the most part & one thing that has really fascinated me is how much Jack Fate has converged the sounds of CD & Wax over the past three records - this one is perhaps the best - perhaps even better than Modern Times - this one sounds as warm as any Vinyl would do. This is just my first take - I will let my listener friends decide for themselves.
Thirty years after the year of the Slow Train, the man still stands alone in some deserted rail station, somewhere in Southern Texas, and murmurs, with more conviction & urge than ever before; listen to him sing again, `when you gonna wake up, & strengthen the things that remain,' albeit in different words.
Would there be another one? I do not know, & neither do you - one can only hope -
And if this is the last one, once again, from the bottom of my heart, Thanks Mr. Dylan - just for being there ..
Oakville: Toronto: April 28, 2009
- Patchy Dylan
Dylan's three previous studio albums "Time Out Of Mind", "Love And Theft" and "Modern Times" were a trilogy of his finest albums. As any new output from him is an event, it's probably churlish to expect yet another straight masterpiece. He knocked out "Together Through Life" pretty spontaneously after recording the song "Life Is Hard" for a film and it sounds like he didn't have enough good material to fill a whole album. There is a distinctive new sound on every song courtesy of David Hildago on the accordion but the bluesy feel seems worn and recycled; the riff on "Shake Shake Mama" is almost identical to "Someday Baby" from "Modern Times". Few of the tracks stick even after several spins - "Life Is Hard", "If You Ever Go To Houston" and "This Dream Of You" stand out. His lovely, worn-out voice is nonetheless much better on the album than what he manages live these days and the cover art is fantastic!...more info
To me this album says only one thing; Dylan is beginning to relax. Which he should, he's put in alot of time to music. NOT that he should quit, but I get more of a feel from this album than any of the other recent releases that he's doing more of what he feels like is right for him at the time and age, writing more personal love songs and letting other's join in on the writing and creative ideas (accordion). I WOULD though disagree with the several people that relate the type of music played on this album to "tex-mex". Possibly for the first track 'Beyond Here Lies Nothing' because of the trumpet and somewhat santana styled guitar playing. This seems like more of a naive northerner comment, because this is not the type of music you hear in border towns in Texas, and i would know I am from Texas. Still a great feel, i would call it more of a Cajun feeling almost.
All in all its a very strange album. I cant say I've heard anyone mix much accordion with tracks that without the accordion would sound like a new Stevie ray vaughn album somewhat, but I really like it. Its no Modern Times, but its as intimate as it gets i think....more info
- As Good As It Gets!
Dylan uses all is accrued powers of excellence and temper to record an outstanding album. Only one who has been there so many times (46 albums) can be so sophisticated in his lyrics and music. We have a real treasure amongst us folks! And amazingly, he tours and tours non-stop seemingly. He's in Europe now until mid-summer at which time he's crisscrossing the USA. I've seen him once in Dallas, TX and once in Maryland - he's just getting better and better. FIVE BIG STARS..... FOR THIS ONE. ...more info
- It depends on which seat you're listening from
I want to write a "helpful" review, but this is difficult. Some people love everything Bob Dylan has ever written, played, honked (on the harmonica), sang, or croaked. For that audience this is a five star album, though I doubt even the most adoring fan will be playing Together Through Life as often as Modern Times or even Oh Mercy.
I come from a different perspective. I love some of Bob Dylan's albums, and some are near-worthless to me. So, if you're like that, thinking Blood On the Tracks or even Infidels was a solid album, but you balk at a lot of stuff Dylan recorded in his "croaky" period, you'd best avoid this album.
The musical arrangements are pretty monotonous. Yes, the style changes from one song to the next, but the chord progressions are simple and repetitive. The band jams along for five minutes, and Bob attempts to sing. I find little lyrical brilliance here, either. I can't say that the lyrics are terrible, but to me it sounds like Bob isn't even trying. No doubt there is some "deeper meaning" that I'm missing, but they forgot to include the secret decoder ring in the CD case.
And as I noted in a comment elsewhere, Bob's singing has devolved now to an implement of torture. It sounds like his vocal chords are held together with Scotch tape and baling wire.
For the objective listener who sometimes can take Bob and other times leave him, Together Through Life will probably be a big disappointment. Best to stick with the classics, unless hell is your hometown. ...more info
- Bob's On A Roll
He's pushing 70 and has artistically and financially earned a peaceful retirement several times over, but Bob Dylan has found it in his heart to generously present us with another album of new material. What's more, in my opinion it's even stronger than 2006's Modern Times.
Whereas Modern Times found Dylan mining similar subjects and moods to those explored in Love and Theft and Time Out of Mind, Together Through Life distinguishes itself by consisting pretty much entirely of love songs. It's still Dylan, though, so these aren't sappy or hackneyed--the words are full of wry frustration, sensuality, compelling nostalgia, and some of the purest heartfelt devotion the man has ever committed to tape. The album's opener and de facto 'single,' "Beyond Here Lies Nothing," kicks things off in a relatively heavy fashion, as pounding toms and dirty guitar licks frame Dylan's shadowy descriptions of consuming love. It's immediately evident that Dylan the producer isn't sticking with the same old formula--he's increased his acoustic instrumentation, including mandolins, violins, banjos, and especially an accordion, and to great and organic effect. The accordion's cheerful, liquid, flitting timbres really complement the laid-back nature of this set of songs, and it strongly recalls Dylan's days with The Band (which never hurts, so far as I'm concerned).
Anyone who's still contending that Dylan's voice is shot needs only to listen to the down-tempo, mandolin-drenched "Life Is Hard," one of Dylan's most successful torch songs, to hear how much heartbreaking emotion he's still capable of wringing out of his own words, even cooing wordlessly toward the song's end. Likewise, "I Feel a Change Comin' On" serves up Dylan's most heartfelt expressions of tenderness since Time Out of Mind's "Make You Feel My Love." Worry not, though--Dylan's nostalgia is leavened by his characteristic wit and inimitable strangeness. "My Wife's Home Town," with its "I just wanna say that hell's my wife's home town" refrain, contains plenty of tongue-in-cheek mock self-pity and Dylan's chuckling at the end of the track is worth the album's price alone. The album's closer, "It' All Good" takes some extremely effective ironic liberties with the titular saying, and the bluesy "Jolene" follows suit, surprisingly containing one of the best guitar hooks in his recent history. Dylan's fascinatingly surreal blending of American culture, mood and geography also pops up numerous times, especially on the downtrodden "If You Ever Go To Houston," and we get to see more than a few mysterious characters as the album unwinds. Finally, "Shake Shake Mama" has one of Dylan's most addictive vocal melodies backed with some gnarly guitar bends--I can imagine that this song will be a total crusher live.
Throughout, Dylan's production remains top-notch. The sound is warm and organic; on Modern Times I felt that the sound lacked a certain grit or oomph to back the harder-edged tunes with the energy they deserved, but here Jack Frost (aka Bob) has hit a sweet spot that better matches the mood of the material, letting the accordion swirl and the electric guitars growl dirtily. It sounds even better if you crank it up a few notches--a hallmark of good mastering. While a couple of songs tread sonically very close to earlier territory ("This Dream of You" almost sounds like an outtake from Desire, and "Forgetful Heart" would fit inconspicuously on Time Out of Mind), the strength of the songwriting here and the love song concept makes Together Through Life an eminently satisfying listening experience that sounds fresh even alongside his most recent work. Overall, while Modern Times had a couple tracks that didn't really click for me, I can't spy a weak song in this set.
Compared with the "deluxe" version, I'm tempted to say that this single disc version is the one to go with. The deluxe edition includes a disc of Bob Dylan Theme Time Radio Hour, and an interview outtake from No Direction Home, neither of which have any real direct relation to the new album. Unless you're a huge fan or collector, you're probably better off saving your $7. As far as I'm concerned, Dylan has produced so much great material in his career that he really doesn't owe us anything new. But if he wants to keep putting out albums this great, who am I to say no? Here's hoping the next one is just as good.
- First spin
Dylan is in a relaxed place in life, if this record is any measure. Mind you, Dylan relaxed doesn't mean Dylan complacent. "Its All Good" ends the album with a litany of collapse as complete as that since "Everything is Broken" and stands as an ironic flipside to that neoclassic Dylan romp from Oh Mercy.
Relaxed in this case sounds (and feels) like a late night jam session on Dylan's back porch (back pages?) with a Tex-Mex-Creole band that has played together so long when one guy flicks a match another's cigarette lights up. Part of this is because of Dylan's play-it-and-record-it production style, and part of it is because of the tightness of this band of brothers who have played together so long that when one . . . . well, you heard that simile already.
As some critics have said, given the quantity and quality of his outtakes, live tracks, and alternate takes (for example Tell Tale Signs: the Bootleg Series Vol. 8 is spectacularly good, one of Dylan's all-time bests), every record is just a first draft, and Together is no different. Some of the songs have great hooks needing more lyrics. Some lyrics cry for more time to refine or define or decompose the music perhaps down to just Dylan and his elemental growl.
Apart from the pre-released gem "Beyond Here Lies Nothing", the most complete track is "Forgetful Heart", which has the clean punch of a classic 5-star song on my iTunes at first listen. "Its all Good" will wear in with age as I have time to spin it and catch up with its rapid-fire lyrics. And indeed, as with all Dylan music, the second, third, and 100th listen will reward with new hidden meaning....more info
- Great Record
This is a great record If you love Dylan you will love this album....more info
- Not Just Another Pretty Voice
Watch Video Here: http://www.amazon.com/review/R16VOQ5AQMAANZ ...more info
- Why bother?
3 classics: Time Out of Mind, Love & Theft, and Modern Times. Add the last Bootleg double CD, that's 4 classics.. Now TTL.Written fast, recorded fast, released fast... so much the better. Can you imagine waiting with anticipation and then getting this record?
The fact that some fans (or critics!) can't discern between quality songwriting and these throwaways, first-drafts, not sure what to call them, is kind of funny, in a depressing way.
Bob, were you just tired or having a laugh or wanting to entertain and felt like throwing one out there? Sort of a Traveling Wilburys record (a half step up)... Fair enough, a lot of people seem to be enjoying it. But please write and release something great to make TTL seem like just a momentary pause. I'll forever want to think you're still in your great late-career renaissance adding classics to your remarkable catalog. Don't get lazy!! (some of these may have been prerry good finished more: Feel a Change Coming, It's All Good). Perhaps it's time to call Daniel Lanois......more info
I'm sorry to say it but I haven't been this unimpressed and underwhelmed with a new Bob Dylan cd since Down In The Groove. I still give it 3 stars because it is Dylan but I think I may even be generous with the 3 stars. The recent rush of 5 star reviews here and other places will not be justified by time (If Rolling Stone ever gives Dylan or Neil Young 2 stars I believe that the end of the world is very close). I've noticed that over the last couple cd's prior to this one that Dylan hasn't had much to say lyrically. The greatest songwriter stealing lines from lesser talents is not encouraging nor is him using a bunch of interchangeable Dylanisms that sound like the old Bob but really don't stand up under scrutiny. I believe Bob hasn't liked this trend either so this album he gets some help from Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter. So instead of forced Dylanesque lines we get innocuous forgettable lyrics that are just place holders to fill out a song. Hunter must be slipping too because some of these lines make Sylvio look like Visions Of Johanna. The other thing that bothered me here is that for the first time Bob sounds old. Yeah, I know that he is old (almost 68) but this is the guy that almost 5 decades ago was trying to sound old on songs like "See That My Grave Is Kept Clean". I thought it would be a while longer before he would vocally sound this worn out and inexpressive, especially on this sometimes upbeat material. We're coming to the end of the line folks. Nothing lasts forever, not even Bob Dylan. In the words of Leonard Cohen: "Take one last look at this sacred heart before it blows."...more info
- Not a classic, but utterly warm and spontaneus.
Sixty-eight years and 33 albums in and Bob Dylan seems bigger than ever.
Dylan's 33rd studio album comes packaged with a CD of tracks from his delightful radio show, "Theme Time Radio Hour" -- an appropriate union given that his latest has a similar old-time feel and would fit in perfectly the next time he turns DJ.
The CD has reignited interest in Dylan as a relevant artist of our times, as opposed to a legendary antiquity.
"Together Through Life" is characterised by a loose swing and prominent accordion. He has assemble here his warmest, most unforced, set of songs in recent memory.
The album is a beautifully played collection of antique, urban blues pop.The ghosts of the great Chicago bluesmen haunt these song structures.
The results have been compared to the vintage Chicago blues sound of Chess Records.
A warm, wheezy accordion (played by David Hidalgo of Los Lobos) lends a borderline Tex Mex flavour.
At least half of the songs are wry, even slightly comic tales of ordinary American lives of desire, heartbreak and remorse.
For sure,the lyrics, co-written with poet Robert Hunter, a "non-performing" member of The Grateful Dead, won't intrigue the academics but the head-nodding grooves of "It's All Good" and "If You Ever Go to Houston" will appeal to more basic instincts.
The single song, "Life is Hard", written and recorded for Olivier Dahan's forthcoming film, "My Own Love Song" (it's about a road trip to Memphis undertaken by a wheelchair-bound singer and her best buddy) "proves an incongruent trigger for such a bluesy album, its lap steel and mandolin carrying one of Dylan's most uncomfortably pitched croons". -Independent
"There is nothing as epic or as playful as "Highlands" or as plaintive as "Nettie Moore", nothing with the weight or depth of those late Dylan songs that possess the resonance of the great blues and folk ballads he loves. By the end, you may feel that you are listening more to that strange whispery croak of a voice than to the words themselves". - Sean O'Hagan
Dylan sounds gruffer and less nasal than on his last one, Modern Times, approaching Tom Waits territory on "My Wife's Home Town".
Yet the album shocases Bob Dylan in fairly relaxed, spontaneous mood, content to grab such grooves and sentiments as flit momentarily across his radar. So while it may not contain too many landmark tracks, it's one of the most naturally enjoyable albums we may hear all year.
Album's highlights: "Beyond Here Lies Nothin'", "It's All Good", "I Feel a Change Comin' On", "Forgetful Heart", "My Wife's Home Town"...more info
- The croaking grows on ya
Not as good as his last 3 but lets face it..... worlds better than 85-95 catalogue. "I feel a change coming on" "It's all good" and "Life is Hard" carry the album in my mind. Long live Zimmerman....more info
- This is a good disc from Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan is not my favorite singer, but there is something about this disc that I like. What I about this disc is the musical arrangement of these tracks. I also like the themes of these songs. I love the guitar playing on the track "Beyond Here Lies Nothin". The accordion playing by David Hidalgo throughout this disc is superb. "I Feel A Change Coming On" is the other highlight here. Bob Dylan pays tribute to country singer Billy Joe Shaver and writer James Joyce on this very relaxing tune. "Jolene" is a bluesy track that I really like. "This Dream Of You" is a very pretty song The accordion gives this song a romantic tone. "Shake Shake Mama" is a fun upbeat song. "My Wife's Home Town" has a humorous quality about Bob's opinion about marriage and his wife's home town. "Forgetful Heart" is a song about getting old and becoming forgetful. I love the sentiment of the track "Life is Hard". This track is very slow paced, but I like it. If You Ever Go To Houston is an interesting song. I never thought Houston as a dangerous place, but this is a fun song. This is a good album from Bob....more info
- Together Through Life
Together Through Life being Dylans 33rd studio album and his 2009 release was a major hit for Dylan and it peaked at #1 in France, Sweden, UK and the Billboard 200. Songs that I like on this release are "Life is hard", "I feel a change comin' on" and "Beyond Here Lies Nothin'". The booklet is quite sparse with a photograh of a couple kissing in a car. We get no lyrics, but a list of whom plays what and a photo of Dyland himself smoking. 4/5. ...more info
- Another great Dylan album
Though it doesn't quite reach the heights of Time Out of Mind, Love and Theft, and Modern Times (I consider those last three classic on par with anything Dylan has ever done), this album is quite good. "Forgetful Heart" and "I Feel A Change Comin' On" really stand out, and "Shake Shake Mama" is a rollicking, fun song. Bob is really on a roll....more info
- Yet another side of Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan and I have indeed been together through life. 'Freewheelin'' was my first Dylan album, and I have collected everything subsequent to that (as well as the knockout debut album). Apart from being some of the best music avaialable on the planet, his albums have also played a biographical role in my life; re-playing them brings back the memories of people, places and events that would otherwise have been forgotten. Sharing these albums with friends means sharing the memories. I am deeply indebted to Mr Dylan for enriching my life so profoundly. And with 'Together through life' the magic continues. I think it is quite the best since 'Time out of mind'. This album is all the more exquisite because its minimalist, latino jazziness adds a depth of sophistication that becomes an ageing genius who is willing to age gracefully with his audience. (There is nothing more embarrassing than greying, flabby rockers who can't move on!)This album is tender and honest, achieving yet again that typical and wonderful Dylan ability to see the universal in the ordinary, profundity in the mundane, and greatness in the seemingly insignificant. Thank you Mr Dylan for being 'Together through life' with me. You are a finely bevelled diamond with a seemingly inexhaustible number of facets....more info
- just a great record
when dylan releases an album,why is it that it has to be one that contains lyrics that will have academics scratch their heads?why must any one who enjoys the man's music attempt to find some deeper meaning?as if when the man has spoken there has to be found some underlying message,when he himself said,so many years ago,he is just a song and dance man?
the above questions invariably arises when one reads the pre -release and most recent post release reviews of dylan's latest album.and it makes one realise,it doesn't matter.all that matters,is that upon listening to this record,upon hearing dylan so at ease with himself,surrounded with top class musicians,one is listening to dylan ,doing what he does best.and in the process,he is paying homage to some blues,mexican infusions and yes, still delivering great lyrics and great songs.so,if you just want to listen to an album that gives that feeling of excitement,that feeling of this is good stuff,and dylan is still the man,do not concern yourself about whether it contains the greatest lyrics,how his voice sounds,or where does this fit in.
This is one of dylan's finest and therefore a contender for album of the year.need i say more?
Ps.in response to the criticism to my view that it is a contender for album of the year,i recently had occassion to read the review by alan jones editor of uncut magazine,uk,april edition.having read his review and his five star rating,seems i was not far off....more info
- A unique, laid-back sound
I agree with other reviewers that suggest this album won't be a classic. Its style is much like the preceding Modern Times, but is a bit more toned down. The sound itself is unique, with the addition of the accordion. A couple songs feel of 1950's Little Italy; the album is definitely unlike anything Dylan has done before. Overall, it is fairly laid back compared to the past three albums, but for true Dylan fans, this will be a great album....more info
- more of the best from the best
I agree his voice can be rough, but then again it has always been that way. But if you give this album (and his most current ones) a few listens, his songwriting will hook you and refuse to let go. I think his songwriting has evolved since the 60's and has become even more powerful than it has ever been. In addition, his current band is arguably his best ever.
- Jack Frost Does It Again
I like the Tejano/border feel. Like Dylan is fronting a bar band in
some smoky Tijuana cantina. Modern Times was such a strong album,
this is kind of like part two or out-takes of that.
Los Lobos' David Higaldo plays accordian, and surprisingly, the
lyrics are credited to Dylan "with" Robert Hunter-Jerry Garcia's
long-time lyricist. For some reason, Mike Campbell's (The Heartbreakers)
guitar solos are buried in the mix, the pedal steel as well. Makes it sound at times like it was recorded in a barn, but the band has a cohesive, live feel. Dylan always seems to be firmly in control of the ship, yet loose and relaxed at the same time.
"My Wife's Home Town" may be the track most likely to be covered
by someone else ("Hell is...my wife's home town")....the last two songs
are also among the best, "It's All Good" made me smile. No heavy
themes here, mostly lovesick blues. Dylan's voice is a raspy,
emphysemic wail, but somehow fits the songs perfectly.
The cover seems thrown together by the label's art dept, the CD insert
is a single folded sheet. No lyrics, minimal album credits, the one picture of His Bobness is on the inside, him sparking a ciggie with a wooden match. Let the music do the talking, I guess.
Like an old friend, it's good to hear from Mr. Z.
I'd say it was def. worth the ten bucks.
- Not Just Another Pretty Voice
Watch Video Here: http://www.amazon.com/review/R16VOQ5AQMAANZ ...more info
- Bob Needs To Give Up Singing
Bob Dylan was never a great singer; it was in the way he shaped his old Woody Guthrie/Jack Elliot mannerisms into his own kind of pinched expressiveness that made listeners want to hear him relate all his songwriting poetry.
Sadly, that era is long passed, and "Together Through Life" is the latest example, extending back about twelve years now, of the listener being treated to Bob's great band deftly steering through Zydeco, Tex-Mex, and all sorts of Americana, while Dylan's singing on top makes us beg for either Bob or us to be put out of its misery. This is truly the first album where the singing GETS IN THE WAY of our ability to enjoy the famous Dylan wordplay. Be it on the sunny accordian refrain of "If You Ever Go To Houston" or the Chess Records-inspired "Shake Shake Mama," Bob's vocal cords sound like they're being crushed beneath a SUV after he gargled with broken glass. Simply a nightmare.
Dylan will always be the most innovative, exciting songwriter of the 20th century, his back catalog is one of the foundations of Rock, and one eagerly the next volume of his "Chronicles," but his insistence on driving
his voice into the ground through years of abuse and lack of proper care constitutes almost a puinative assault on his fans, so please, PLEASE Bob
just stay away from the mic and let your old legacy remain untarnished....more info