Bob Dylan
Modern Times


5.0
classic

Review

by El_Goodo USER (19 Reviews)
September 1st, 2006 | 72 replies | 13,864 views


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist


8 of 8 thought this review was well written

If I could choose one line from "Modern Times" that sums up the whole album it would be"I ain't holdin' nothin' back now, I ain't standin' in anybody's way." Dylan has finally got us back in the palm of his hand, and I think he knows it. With "Time Out Of Mind," Dylan created an insecure record that sounded like it could have been his last, Dylan laid his heart and soul out for everyone to see it, and it worked. The album was praised and considered by many to be his best since "Blood On The Tracks". The follow up "Love and Theft," showed a more confident but still unsure Dylan. He began to look more and more like the young Dylan, not only writing beautiful lyrics but also bringing back the trademark Dylan humor, along with some rock n' roll songs that recalled albums like "Blonde on Blonde." Infact the whole trilogy that Dylan has created recalls the classic 60's trilogy of [i]Bringing It All Back Home, Highway 61 Revisited, and Blonde On Blonde[i]. And just like that trilogy the latest record is also the best.

Everything about this album is better than the two that came before. The guitar work is phenominal, Thunder On The Mountain, Spirit On The Water, Rollin' and Tumblin', and Someday Baby, all feature excellent lead guitar licks and fills, as well as some toe-tapping rhythm guitar. Workingman's Blues and Nettie Moore feature the best piano work I've ever heard from Dylan, and he manages to make the parts sounds both modern and classic at the same time. Vocally this album features the best and most accessible "gravely-voiced" Dylan songs yet, either that or I have just really gotten used to the sound, I'm not quite sure yet.

And now the moment everyone has been waiting for, the lyrics. Are they up to Dylan standards? Of course they are! This album has pretty much every type of Dylan lyric there is. The blues lyrics as seen on Rollin' and Tumblin
then there's some great love lyrics on the epic Spirit On The Water, the light-hearted funny one moment and serious the next lyrics of Thunder On The Mountain, he even goes back to his protesting days with Workingman's Blues #2 which protests low wages amongst other things, and as seems to be a tradition with Bob the album ends with an epic filled with emotion and great words. Ironically the 9 minute closer is titled Ain't Talking. It follows in the vein of Desolation Row lyric-wise, filled with mystical images it deals with countless situations while somehow managing to connect them all.

Sitting silent after the album had ended I found myself sitting with a big grin as I realized this album not only exceeded my expectations, it completley blew them away. Not only is this album better than Love and Theft and Time Out Of Mind, but it is truly one of Dylan's finest records. When The Deal Goes Down, Spirit On The Water, and Someday Baby just to name a few are some of the tracks that could stand up next to any of Dylan's old material and not feel out of place. The only problem I had with the cd was that after coughing up 17 dollars instead of 13 for the extra-dvd and "expanded case," I found that the case was one of the most terrible things I had ever seen. You can see the staples clearly, the spine is made of some pathetic material and there's a sticky piece of tape that holds in an advertisment for XM Radio. But to be fair from the outside the case does look pretty nifty.

Pros
-Phenominal guitar work, phenominal music all around for that matter
-Great vocals, even people who aren't a fan of Dylan's newer vocals might find this listenable
-Sounds new and old at the same time

Cons
-I have yet to watch the special edition dvd yet but the case upsets me deeply.

Recommended Tracks
-Spirit On The Water
-Rollin' And Tumblin
-When The Deal Goes Down
-Someday Baby
-Workingman's Blues #2

...I'll stop before I list the entire album.



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user ratings (299)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
El_Goodo
September 1st 2006



1008 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I'm afraid to edit the review and take out the i's because last time I edited a review I had to fix all the apostrophes...

hummer
September 1st 2006



228 Comments


Good review

I'll be picking up this album shortly.

El_Goodo
September 1st 2006



1008 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

You won't regret it...I seriously think it kicks Love and Theft's ass.

hummer
September 1st 2006



228 Comments


Haha, now I can't wait to hear this thing

Muisee
September 1st 2006



679 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I have not heard the album, but I would bet it is not a 5. Good review though.This Message Edited On 09.01.06

Med57
Moderator
September 1st 2006



1001 Comments


I've heard very good things about this from most people that have heard it. Sceptical about whether or not it is actually a 5, but I think that Rolling Stone or someone gave it that rating as well. At least he's making consistently good albums again.

Muisee
September 1st 2006



679 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Getting this today, after work that is. The album art/title really sucks though. Hope it is as good as you say.

Two-Headed Boy
September 1st 2006



4527 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Personally I think this album is too reminiscent of his previous two records. Plus a bunch of songs sounds almost exactly the same on here. Dylan needs to do something new, in my opinion.This Message Edited On 09.01.06

Broken Arrow
September 1st 2006



220 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yeah this is good nothing more.

knox
September 1st 2006



5 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It's a really good album, definitely not deserving a 5 though.

El_Goodo
September 1st 2006



1008 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Personally I think this album is too reminiscent of his previous two records. Plus a bunch of songs sounds almost exactly the same on here. Dylan needs to do something new, in my opinion.


I think it varies quite a bit from Love and Theft and Time Out Of Mind. And the only track I would call a filler would be The Levee's Gonna Break. Sure it is a little reminiscent of his previous two records. But the same thing went for his 60's trilogy he started a good thing with Bringin' It All Back Home, then he improved with Highway 61 still using the electric sound, and on Blonde On Blonde he used the Highway 61 formula and expanded on it.

It's gotten between 4 and a half to 5 stars on every review I've read so far, and I think it's great.

And as for the title my guess would be that it is a reference to the Charlie Chaplin film of the same title. Dylan has always cited Chaplin as one of his biggest influences on stage.

[quote=TagLine for Charlie Chaplin Modern Times]He stands alone as the greatest entertainer of modern times! No one on earth can make you laugh as heartily or touch your heart as deeply...the whole world laughs, cries and thrills to his priceless genius![/quote]

That's kinda funny...

stompybeardo
September 1st 2006



746 Comments


rolling stone actually gave this a 5 too, must be a good un' i guess. Always nice to see an old icon still making great albums

Sepstrup
September 1st 2006



1563 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Heh. Too slow. I wanted to have the first review of this.

It's really not that good. I'll review it with a counter-opinion.

Digging: How to Dress Well - What Is This Heart?

El_Goodo
September 1st 2006



1008 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Ahh My Nemesis of Dylan reviews....looking forward to the review.

Sepstrup
September 1st 2006



1563 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Haha. I didn't even notice it was you again. Damn you. I have two half-finished Dylan reviews

This has gotten better every time I've listened to it. I can't really settle on a rating yet. Dylan takes time.

Cool review, too.

Oddsen
September 1st 2006



1127 Comments


Great review. Maybe I'll pick this up.

JohnXDoesn't
September 1st 2006



1267 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

nice review. Dylan is a genuis, plain and simple. He proves it time and time again. One in a million artist and performer. I've heard this several times now. He is just consistent and amazing. It's a really nice piece of work. Nice review once again.

Eliminator
September 2nd 2006



2067 Comments


Rolling Stone also gave Late Registration and To the 5 Buroughs a five rating too.

El_Goodo
September 2nd 2006



1008 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

But this is Bob Dylan!

Two-Headed Boy
September 2nd 2006



4527 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

So?



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