Monday, January 08, 2007


5. Bob Dylan - Modern Times
Everyone’s saying this album is just a logical extension of Love & Theft. Except that Love & Theft sucked. It was boring, bloated, and just plain bad. And so Bob Dylan, being Bob Dylan, went and wrote some songs that were even longer and played them in the same style. Paradoxically, it worked. Of course I am being a bit hard on Love & Theft; it has aged fairly well, and its songs make a lot more sense after hearing Modern Times. I guess the main difference in my mind is that Dylan’s sense of humor comes across so much better on Modern Times. The jokes and slyness on Love & Theft seemed very forced. The signature Dylan wit is all over Modern Times. On the first track, “Thunder on the Mountain,” he plays around with the concept of himself as an old man and has one of his best couplets to date: “I got the porkchops, she got the pie, She ain’t no angel and neither am I.” He also pens one of his sweetest and most sincere love songs ever with “Spirit on the Water.” There’s a maturity to his songwriting that somehow manages to hold onto the vitality and energy of his best work. “Someday Baby” is one of the best kiss-offs I’ve ever heard, and “Ain’t Talkin’” is a chilling narrative about revenge, greed, and death. At its heart Modern Times is just the blues done extraordinarily well. Bob’s been there and back, and he’s got some stories to tell.


Blogger Brad said...

You broke the law. You're not allowed to write about "Modern Times" without at least a passing reference to Dylan's Alicia Keys name-drop.

9:48 PM  
Blogger Jay said...

the best part of modern times is "thunder on the mountain" when bob dylan rhymes "sons of bitches" with "orphanages." that is rakim shit right there son!

3:18 PM  
Blogger Tara said...

I'm on the edge of my seat waiting for numbers one through four!

9:31 AM  

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