Album review: Bob Dylan's the Tempest

Last updated 05:00 05/10/2012
Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan still singing at 71 is about to tour with Mark Knopfler.

Bob Dylan Tempest
Dylan's latest album was released on September 11.

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My favourite musician, Bob Dylan, has a new album out called Tempest, released on 9/11 (US). Typical Dylan.

Dylan’s recording career now spans six+ decades; written-off many times by critics, he is still strong at 71; the most-covered artist of all time.

At first listen it sounds consistent with Dylan’s apocalyptic tone of recent albums.

I think it most like Love & Theft, but not as dark as he was recovering from serious surgery at the time, and came close to death. His earlier motorcycle accident had a big impact on his earlier music.

Biblical allusions abound (as they always have in Dylan) and his Christian faith seems to be revived, if it ever went away entirely.

'Early Roman Kings' is a complex song, perhaps with three layers, the South Bronx band, a metaphor on Wall St greed, and historicity of the Roman Caesars. Like so much of Dylan, it is fun unravelling the mysteries and allusions.

His 14 minute Tempest, about the Titanic and in Irish ballad style, follows the tradition of lengthy narrative story-telling of Brownsville Girl, All Along the Watchtower, and Hurricane.

This is one of the lengthier songs on modern CDs.

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