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Bob Dylan - Tempest - Columbia

As the "Duquesne Whistle" blows, the train pulls out of the station for another ride with the most heralded songwriter of all-time. Despite creeping into his 70's and this being his 35th album, Tempest is far from "just another record" from Bob Dylan. Dylan’s latest work is a testament to his grand acclaim as a lyrical poet. He's constructed a batch of songs that aren't the least bit intimidated by his words penned prior. And throughout Tempest Dylan exudes an aura of greatness, even a little bit of an edge as he chuckles at your expectations.


For the most part Tempest follows suit, sonically, with Dylan's last few studio albums (2006's Modern Times and 2009's Together Through Life). The most notable exception is also one of this album's most engaging moments. The album’s title track, "Tempest," is the centerpiece, and not just because it shares the headline. Reciting the story of the Titanic, Dylan takes creative liberty in telling the tale of the sunken ship. Styled as a waltz and clocking in at over fourteen minutes, "Tempest" dreams an epic tale. It's a tale of deadly events, but therein lies the connection to the rest of the album. Tempest is noticeably darker in its tone than some might be used to with Dylan. 'Hear me holler, hear me moan / I'll pay in blood, but not my own' he growls on the feverish "Pay in Blood." Dylan also recounts the shooting of John Lennon on "Roll On, John," a song that unfolds as a tribute to the late Beatles frontman and draws the curtain on Tempest.

Tempest was recorded with Dylan's touring band, and similar to Together Through Life once again features a helping hand from David Hidalgo of Los Lobos. Dylan endures on this latest collection. In fact, he does more than that. He engages, he stimulates and ultimately he satisfies with quite simply another extraordinary album.

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