Bob Dylan - Tempest | Album Review | By Volume

Got our poster on her wall so every boy that she brings back will see my best side. Johnny Foreigner - Stop Talking About Ghosts

Bob Dylan


Somewhere between Matthau in the Angry Old Men movies and a slightly more huggable C. Montgomery Burns.

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Author: on September 19, 2012
Columbia Records
September 10, 2012

At this point in Bob Dylan’s career he doesn’t have to prove shit to anybody. In fact, he hasn’t had to in years, which is why so many of us have totally erased the memories of his lost-in-Christ 1980s, and only remember the part from his folksy debut through to Desire, picking back up again somewhere around the time when he confused the goddamn hell out of us with his incomprehensible MTV Unplugged performance. Bobby knows this too. He’s stated before that he doesn’t give the fuck-all to put the effort into his albums that he once did.

Luckily for him, he inadvertently struck gold with Time Out of Mind and up until recently music critics hadn’t figured out that everything that has come out since has just been a watered-down, more Hidalgo-ized version of that seminal latter Dylan classic – well, up until he released Together Through Life, and we – using this term lightly here to level the music community at large – caught onto his little game and called him out. It seems that the old man got the message, though, as Tempest sees the greatest poet of the 20th century moving into his glossy, glaucoma-eyed misanthropic stage, as clearly his heart has turned to stone.

And you know what? It’s exactly what his music needed. His crackly sneer, and his music in general, now resembling Tom Waits on his Orphans collection, Bob Dylan’s words are dripping between typical blues romp and outright cold-hearted apathy. Where he used to poetically wax and wane over the misdeeds of evil-doers in songs like “Masters of War” now he’s calling out the “bastards” and handing them their death sentence all while sarcastically musing on an acquaintance’s entire family dying, in soundbite-ready quips. If Tempest proves anything, it is that good ol’ Bobby D has transitioned from that messy haired, trend setting kid pictured on the album sleeve of Blonde on Blonde, to someone resembling something between Walter Matthau in the Angry Old Men movies, and an ever-so-slightly more huggable C. Montgomery Burns.

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