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Bob Dylan - Time Out Of Mind

Review: 049
Date: 5 Nov 01

 


Rating: 5 Stars

Musicians:
Bob Dylan – guitar, acoustic and electric rhythm lead, harmonica, piano, vocals.
Daniel Lanois – guitar, mando-
guitar, firebird, rhythm and lead. 
Bucky Baxter – acoustic guitar, pedal steel.
Duke Robillard – guitar.
Robert Britt – martin acoustic and fender stratocaster.
Winston Watson – drums.
Cindy Cashdollar – slide guitar.
Tony Garnier – electric bass and acoustic upright bass.
Auggie Meyers – vox organ combo, Hammond organ and accordion.
Jim Dickenson – keyboards, electric piano, and pump organ.
Jim Keltner – drums.
David Kemper – drums.
Brian Blade – drums.
Tony Mangurian – percussion.

Tracks Listing:
1. Love Sick
2. Dirt Road Blues
3. Standing In The Doorway
4. Million Miles
5. Tryin’ To Get To Heaven]
6. Til I Fell In Love With You
7. Not Dark Yet
8. Cold Irons Bound
9. Make You Feel My Love
10. Can’t Wait
11. Highlands

 


Electric Troubadour? Or Folk Judas? Lucky man in the right place at the right time? Or the most creative genius to ever lend a hand to Rock ‘n’ Roll? This dog certainly leans the way of immortal rock pioneer.

The Dylan legend was created in a burst of creativity in the early sixties, which saw the writing of many of his most famous songs, from “Blowin In The Wind” via “Mr. Tambourine Man” and “Just Like A Woman” to “All Along The Watch Tower”. 

Here in lies the answer to the questions: Does he still matter? Can the man still cut it? For what makes Dylan important and unique, and so far above the inanity of Paul McCartney or Mick Jagger’s gaucherie? Is that he continues in his efforts to bring meaningful expression from his life, even as time rolls past. This year Dylan reaches sixty. Will this be the end of an era or the start of something new? And such on going engagement is the sign of a truly great artist. The ability to change and change your audience is certainly the mark of a leader.

His last studio album “Time Out Of Mind” (1997) (He has been out on the road touring incessantly since it’s release, finding himself more at home on tour now than he has ever been.) was a huge critical success winning all the categories in which he was nominated, including album of the year at the 1998 Grammy’s. Not bad for an old man, eh “Boyzone”.

Artistically Dylan is now at the top of his game, playing with more vim and vigour than has been shown for many a year. Then again it is peculiarly misguided to treat Dylan albums as one-off events. Listening to his work is more like taking the Siberian Express, where the scenery is sometimes startling, sometimes rough, even shabby occasionally, but most importantly always demanding your attention. Most tracks on “Time Out Of Mind” are as good as anything Dylan has done before, and often surpassing some of his slightly dodgy work in the eighties. These songs in typical Dylan style are restless, dissenting, wrathful, lonely, but heartfelt in their effort to drag a bit of reality out of feelings created over the last six decades, in his emotional way to add some truth out of long experience. 

Things have changed of course over the years. These days on stage he dresses eccentrically, a cross between a gentleman dandy from Mississippi and a gun slinging Texan cowboy dressed in black, he is less the young poet and more like an old testament prophet come down from the mountain to cry out – in a voice as cracked as the tablets which he throws to the ground – the soothsayer of human affairs.

But the description that definitely still does pertain to Dylan – as it always will – is that of protest singer, the voice of his subjects. Not in the narrow, liberal – baby – boomer – turned – pillar – of – society sense of complaining on behalf good causes, but as a man who consistently dissents from, disapproves of and inveighs against this vulgar forlorn age in which we live, Bob Dylan is an articulate man whose proclamations on “Time Out Of Mind” are worth hearing. As Dylan sings in “Not Dark Yet” probably one of the most disturbing songs on this collection.

“I was born here and I’ll die here against my will
I know it looks like I’m moving but I’m standing still.
Every nerve in my body is so vacant and numb
I can’t even remember what it was I came here to get away from
Don’t even hear a murmur of a prayer 
It’s not dark yet, but it’s getting there”

If that isn’t protest, then what is?

 

Pawed by Mott The Dog
Remastered by Ella Crew

E-mail: review@mott-the-dog.com


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