Personnel: Bob Dylan (vocals, guitar, harmonica, piano); Denny Freeman, Stuart Kimball (guitar); Donnie Herron (steel guitar, mandolin, violin, viola); Tony Garnier (cello, acoustic bass); George G. Receli (drums, percussion).
It's arguable that at no point since his 1960s heyday has Bob Dylan been as celebrated as in the decade following his critically acclaimed 1997 album TIME OUT OF MIND. Numerous films, books, and albums--mostly Columbia's impressive archive series of reissues--have been part of a universal canonization of the singer and met with considerable enthusiasm by fans and critics alike. 2006's MODERN TIMES, the third album to have been released in nearly 10 years and part of a trilogy that also includes 2001's brilliant and upbeat LOVE AND THEFT, is easily deserving of such enthusiasm and is further reason for the formal veneration.
Musically, the album finds Dylan once again mining the stately traditionalist sound first heard on LOVE AND THEFT. Lazy blues numbers, piano-based songbook pop, and jumpin' country swing provide the backdrop for Dylan's continuing study of the vicissitudes of life, love, and death. Although he is certainly world-weary, a lot of life is lived in the verses of these songs and there is a dogged spirituality that provides, if not hope (a rather prosaic notion for Dylan by this point, to be sure), at least a means to finding contentment. Finally, a word about Dylan's voice here: while his singing has always been unconventional and never pretty in any traditional sense, in its raspy magnificence it is simply perfect for this timeless music.
- Format: Vinyl
- RSD Release Date: n/a
- Genre: Rock
- Released: 8/29/2006