10 Songs, 1 Hour 2 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

For most of his life, Bob Dylan has tried to claim for himself the worn-down wisdom and authenticity of his musical heroes, and at age 65, he may finally believe that he's earned the right to join them. Recording with his road band on the self-produced Modern Times, he's again grappling with matters of faith, love, mortality, and the relentless passage of time, scattering hard-won morsels of insight, brazenly, gleefully poaching from the blues canon and sprinkling in his own peculiar perceptions. A mix of blues, rave-ups, introspective folk, and Tin Pan Alley pop, much of the album finds Dylan in the role of conflicted preacher, warning his minions of the cruel fate that awaits them without offering a pathway to salvation. "The world has gone black before my eyes," he sings on the delicate, poignant "Nettie Moore," before adding, "I'm beginning to believe what the scriptures tell." On the mournful "Ain't Talkin'," he explains: "I practice a faith that's long abandoned, ain't no altars on this long and lonesome road." It's a strange, hopeless sort of spirituality. Dreamy, Hoagy Carmichael-style shuffles like "Beyond the Horizon" and "When the Deal Goes Down" provide a welcome counterweight to the more prickly concerns. Modern Times is a gripping hour inside the psyche of a wise man who, despite a lifetime of searching, finds no sufficient answers to life's biggest questions — a man with no direction home.

EDITORS’ NOTES

For most of his life, Bob Dylan has tried to claim for himself the worn-down wisdom and authenticity of his musical heroes, and at age 65, he may finally believe that he's earned the right to join them. Recording with his road band on the self-produced Modern Times, he's again grappling with matters of faith, love, mortality, and the relentless passage of time, scattering hard-won morsels of insight, brazenly, gleefully poaching from the blues canon and sprinkling in his own peculiar perceptions. A mix of blues, rave-ups, introspective folk, and Tin Pan Alley pop, much of the album finds Dylan in the role of conflicted preacher, warning his minions of the cruel fate that awaits them without offering a pathway to salvation. "The world has gone black before my eyes," he sings on the delicate, poignant "Nettie Moore," before adding, "I'm beginning to believe what the scriptures tell." On the mournful "Ain't Talkin'," he explains: "I practice a faith that's long abandoned, ain't no altars on this long and lonesome road." It's a strange, hopeless sort of spirituality. Dreamy, Hoagy Carmichael-style shuffles like "Beyond the Horizon" and "When the Deal Goes Down" provide a welcome counterweight to the more prickly concerns. Modern Times is a gripping hour inside the psyche of a wise man who, despite a lifetime of searching, finds no sufficient answers to life's biggest questions — a man with no direction home.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.7 out of 5
129 Ratings

129 Ratings

naathyn ,

Nathan Couch Calls it "Riveting!"

Now... I may not be a professional critic, but I do know that this is one of his best albums. His voice is getting better and the lyrics are phenominal. If you are a newer dylan fan I wouldn't reccommend this album without you hearing his older stuff unless you want to hear what he has to say about our "Modern Times" which is very true. Granted, you can't get the retro-dylan out of his newer stuff but he sounds happy, and ultimately he's doing what he wants to do which I credit him for. Get this!

BillSheaSF ,

He just keeps getting better . . .

. . . like red wine and Nancy Wilson. I've been a Dylan fan since the time when you said Dylan and people thought you meant Dylan Thomas. Bob just keeps getting better. Say what you will about his 65 year old voice but he's lost the mumbles of his earlier years and the listener actually can understand what he's saying. That helps with a singer/songwriter who's all about lyrics. Besides, what's a 65 year old voice in someone whose soul and heart are ageless? Not all original comps? That's fine. He's the only Shakespeare we have and so he's earned the right to do whatever he wants to do and that includes Victoria Secret commercials and shilling for iTunes. I'm grateful to the Universe for giving us Bob Dylan.

Eclectatacator ,

Its been a long time...

since I heard an album that carried this sort of magic. I hope this album inspires other artists to reach as far as this old warrior. Lord knows we need music that speaks the truth as much now as we ever have.

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