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Old 06-18-2020, 08:28 PM   #1
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Bob Dylan - Rough and Rowdy Ways



First album of original material in 8 years.

Reviews have been extremely positive, including the 9.0 and BNM from Pitchfork today (Tempest received a 6.8 and Modern Times an 8.3). 4.5 stars from Rolling Stone. Metacritic scores of 100 for reviews from The Guardian, LA Times, Mojo, The Telegraph, The Line of Best Fit, and NME.

Fiona Apple guests stars(!)

GET HYPE and discuss.
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Old 06-18-2020, 08:31 PM   #2
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I think I'm gonna go straight out and buy this bad boy. I love Murder Most Foul.

Maybe U2 could look around and go hmm, maybe we don't have to make music aimed at getting us our next US #1 single. Maybe we could just make music we want to make without any pretensions of it being a big radio hit and we, too, could get our best reviews and sentiment in 15 years.
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Old 06-19-2020, 12:54 AM   #3
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His best since at least Love and Theft. Quite rich sound palette, very complementary for his voice, which sounds much better than it did on Tempest.

Key West is my favorite Dylan song in a long time.
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Old 06-19-2020, 11:03 AM   #4
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Modern Times was a step down from L&T, but if there are three songs here better than Spirit on the Water, Workingman’s Blues, Ain’t Talkin’, I’ll be mighty impressed.

And I’m suspicious of your “at least”. There are few albums by anyone released since Love & Theft that are better.
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Old 07-02-2020, 09:16 AM   #5
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This made me listen to Modern Times for the first time in ages and I had forgotten how good it is. I personally like it more than any releases since, and think Spirit in the Water is his best track in this period.
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Old 07-02-2020, 10:22 AM   #6
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Yeah, I've been trying to give R&RW more spins before commenting further. It's better than its two predecessors, I'll go that far. And it sounds absolutely gorgeous; I love the instrumentation and the arrangements, the relative delicateness of most of it, it sounds absolutely timeless.

But for me, the "tunes" just aren't there in a large enough number to compete with the two masterpieces from the 2000s. I know music and songwriting aren't just about melodies, but from a man who is so gifted at them, I wish there were just some more memorable ones here. Modern Times has like 5 tracks that I can conjure up in my head immediately, and I haven't heard it in a while (I'll be popping it in today).

I did go back and listen to Love and Theft again, and I'm sorry but anyone who thinks this new one is better is batshit crazy. First off that album ROCKS in a way that Dylan hadn't since...I don't know how far back to go. Mid-80s? Mid-70s? And there are a plethora of memorable tunes, and more importantly in so many variations of style. It really is a tour of American roots music and Dylan is a master at all of it.

It's scratching at my Dylan albums Top 5, if not actually inside it.

I should write more about R&RW, but it's so dense and subtle I need to keep listening. That is to its credit, I'm aware, but I don't see it being a "favorite".
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Old 07-04-2020, 09:18 AM   #7
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I’ve been on a Dylan kick lately and really enjoyed watching the No Direction Home documentary. The 1966 footage in England is really incredible, and I enjoyed hearing from Dylan himself.

I also put the I’m Not There soundtrack for the first time in ages and while there are some misses there I really enjoy the covers for the most part. Sonic Youth’s I’m Not There in particular stands out, as does Malkmus’ Ballad of a Thin Man (though it stays pretty close to the original).
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Old 07-04-2020, 11:25 AM   #8
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Modern Times still held up very well, as you said. And Spirit In The Water is most certainly its best track. The descending guitar part, the playfulness of the lyric, that harp solo. So damned good.

I almost played the whole thing again after finishing it.
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Old 07-06-2020, 06:53 AM   #9
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My CD arrived today. Infuriating that there's no booklet and lyrics, but oh well. It's a nice little package regardless. I've still not listened to anything bar Murder Most Foul, which I can't stop being amazed by. I can't believe I'm not seeing Laz or others proclaim it more. America's most beloved songwriter spending 17 minutes synthesising like 80 songs/artists in a song dedicated to the death of JFK, all on top of a bed of just such rich, warm, gentle instrumentation. It's a fucking masterpiece. If the rest of the album is anywhere near as good, I'm on track for biggest ever Friggin Cobbler.
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Old 07-06-2020, 11:23 AM   #10
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The rest of it isn’t quite that brilliant, to be honest.

What’s interesting to me is that the back cover of the CD (and presumably the vinyl) has separate artwork for Murder Most Foul, and that song’s title. On the inside, it list credits for R&RW for Disc 1 and then shows Disc 2 as Murder Most Foul.

Since we know this could have all fit on a single disc, I wonder if the epic track is even meant to be part of the album proper, or a separate listening experience.

Anyway, apparently this is also the song that Fiona Apple appears on, playing that low piano part.
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Old 07-06-2020, 07:47 PM   #11
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Yeah it seems quite clear to me it’s an add-on.
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Old 07-09-2020, 12:30 AM   #12
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It's a good album! Not sure it's a 9 though, and it makes me mad that the Fork gave it more than Blackstar, which is heaps superior. Anyway. Not sure it's an album I'll return to heaps, though it does have some really strong highlights outside of Murder Most Foul: Key West is indeed superb, I Contain Multitudes is really good and Made Up My Mind is too, also thought False Prophet was fun, and does something interesting with the "80yo man tries to rock out" thing, whereas the other rockier numbers on the album are the same blues song that have been written a trillion times before.
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Old 07-09-2020, 01:43 AM   #13
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Refresh my memory, what other albums have you heard by THE ZIMM?
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Old 07-09-2020, 02:22 AM   #14
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61. That's it.
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Old 07-09-2020, 08:56 AM   #15
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Oh Mercy is such a fantastic album, sandwiched in a period that I don't fully enjoy in his discography (and don't know very well). Ring Them Bells, Most of the Time, Man in the Long Black Coat, Political World... It's full of great songs. I know it's a pretty well regarded album by Dylan enthusiasts, but I feel it's generally under-appreciated outside of that group? Also, Most of the Time is definitely a top-10 Dylan track for me.
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Old 07-09-2020, 10:49 AM   #16
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Oh Mercy is in my Top 3-5 of his. I still prefer it to Time Out of Mind.
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Old 07-09-2020, 11:44 AM   #17
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I think I remember you praising the album before, and I may have initially looked for it on your recommendation. But yeah, I would rank it pretty high too though I find it daunting to figure out a top-5 for Dylan (others than having Blood on the Tracks as my #1).

Also, I've read it somewhere that Dylan ended up getting Lanois as a producer for it at Bono's recommendation. I wonder if that's true at all.
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Old 07-09-2020, 12:42 PM   #18
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It’s definitely true. Dylan wrote extensively about Oh Mercy in his Chronicles autobiography, how he was in a creative slump and Bono visited him in Malibu and saw some lyrics that he told Dylan were great, persuaded him to record and suggested Lanois.
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Old 07-09-2020, 01:50 PM   #19
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That's pretty cool. I have had Chronicles on my to read list for ages, might get to it soon. I just finished Patti Smith's Just Friends, which was great, and Dylan also plays an important though mostly invisible role in it.
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Old 06-16-2021, 01:16 PM   #20
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Well, he's a year late but unlike Shuttlecock, is at least doing a new original show and not just putting old concerts on YouTube:

Bob Dylan Announces New Streaming Concert


I'm not paying for it, but I look forward to, uhh, an alternate encounter.
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