Bob Dylan: Together Through Life

There’s no doubting that Bob Dylan has released some truly seminal albums. “Highway 61 Revisited”, “Blonde on Blonde”, “Blood on the Tracks” and “Desire” are all unequivocal musical masterpieces.

Although his musical quality took a steep nose dive in the late 70’s early 80’s (curiously enough, the period where he became a born-again Christian, compelling evidence indeed to support the hypothesis that the Devil has all the best music), he has however had a late blooming purple patch with recent albums like “ Time Out Of Mind”, “Love and Theft” and even “Modern Times”

The professional critics' reviews that I have read for Dylan’s latest album all provide glowing endorsements for this recent work. Maybe they’re right, or perhaps they’re so in awe of the genius that created those aforementioned works of art, that they have failed to mention that the emperor is inclined to occasionally wonder around stark bollock naked.

I’m not suggesting that this is not a good album, there are indeed some great new songs on here, but I still think the package as a whole is a bit of a mixed bag. Accordion player, David Hidalgo, has a constant presence on this album but despite his talent, for me, he outstays his welcome.

Dylan is at his best on this new album with tracks like “Forgetful Heart”, “My Wife’s Hometown” and “Shake Shake Mama” where he opts for a more unadulterated blues formula. Conversely he’s at his most irksome on tracks like “Life is Hard” where the semi-spoken and strained vocals grumble over a painfully slow rhythm.