- Thunder on the Mountain
- Spirit on the Water
- Rollin' and Tumblin'
- When the Deal Goes Down
- Someday Baby
- Workingman's Blues #2
- Beyond the Horizon
- Nettie Moore
- The Levee's Gonna Break
- Ain't Talkin'
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The length of time that transpires between Bob Dylan releases these days -- it's been five years since Love and Theft, which itself broke a four-year drought -- makes it seem as if the rock legend has come down from the mountaintop with each armful of new songs. This time around, the epic, foreboding material he's crafted backs up that image, with every incisive phrase and every heavy-hanging note underscoring the spiritual, questing vibe. Modern Times isn't exactly a religious album -- not in the standard sense -- but it does carry a stark, apocalyptic tone that can be terrifying (as on the stealthily picked "Ain't Talkin," with its imagery of life as a skein of unending suffering) or vivifying (as on "Beyond the Horizon," where he sets his sights on the afterlife that follows said anguish). More than he has in ages, Dylan builds his tales around classic blues structures, tweaking the 12-bar form ever so subtly on the steely-eyed revenge paean "Someday Baby" and reworking the Muddy Waters classic "Rollin' and Tumblin' " (which he's retrofitted with new lyrics) into a cautionary tale of impending doom. As befits its title, Modern Times is also shot through with Dylan's take on the world around him. Although he's not nearly as direct here as he was in his protest song days, there's no mistaking the passion -- or position -- of songs like "Workingman's Blues #2" (a class-conscious rallying cry that carries traces of Before the Flood in its DNA) and the New Orleans-directed "The Levee's Gonna Break." Unlike its immediate predecessor, Modern Times isn't a particularly aggressive album. At times, in fact, it verges on the parched. But not depleted: Instead, with this steely-eyed disc, Dylan sounds like a man who intends to fight on -- intent on winning every battle.
Performance CreditsBob Dylan Primary Artist,Guitar,Harmonica,Piano,Vocals
Denny Freeman Guitar
Tony Garnier Cello,Acoustic Bass
Stuart Kimball Guitar
Donnie Herron Mandolin,Violin,Steel Guitar,Viola
George G. Receli Percussion,Drums
Bob Dylan Primary Artist
Technical CreditsBob Dylan Composer
Jack Frost Audio Production,Producer
Christopher Shaw Engineer
Geoff Gans Art Direction