By Baby Tuckoo
I am probably going to draw a fair amount of heat and hate from the lovers of the Dylan. All those who have followed his fabled career along the sometimes rocky road of his creative trajectory. Hell, I’m one of those people.
But, truth be told, I really struggled to sit down and get to grips with this record. Record released: 10 September 2012. Review date: 26 October 2012. Enough said.
Now, I’m normally a genuinely rabid Dylan disciple. Perhaps it’s an age thang now, or perhaps its the fact that he’s been saying the same thing ever since Blood on the Tracks, but this album does not move me.
The tunes are passable bluegrass. That famed nasal twang is suitably world-weary and gruff, and the backing band a fine collection of totally competent studio hands, but the lyrics… oh, The LYRICS!! His twilight years are most certainly upon him. But otherwise barely a foot is put wrong, and there’s the rub! The record lacks any real fire. It kind of chugs along from the get-go, kicking off with the steam powered locomotion of Duquesne Whistle, and to be fair it never truly picks up.
Maybe I’m missing it, but it seems that Dylan’s said all of this before – and far better too.
There are a couple of tracks worthy of a special mention: The hypnotic double bass sway on Tin Angel, and some fairly convincing Bob Dylan swagger on Early Roman Kings”. Otherwise, meh.
I will be honest: this record’ll not spin too regula’-like in my house. I am not convinced.
In the cold, cold night a boy was birthed. A flash of white noise; nearby televisions sparked; then returned to normal. Viewer’s wrongly put it down to electrical storm interference. The boy entered the machine. He’s been trying to escape ever since.