Bob Dylan – Modern Times
CD Review by Mike D'Ariano

 

 

 
October 2006
 
 
Track listing
1.
  Thunder on the
Mountain
2.
  Spirit on the Water
3.
  Rollin' and Tumblin'
4.
  When the Deal
Goes Down
5.
  Someday Baby
6.
  Workingman's
Blues #2
7.
  Beyond the Horizon
8.
  Nettie Moore
9.
  The Levee's Gonna
Break
10.
  Ain't Talking

Label: Sony
Release Date:
August 29, 2006

The only right way to review this masterpiece, Dylan's tenth or eleventh 100% perfect from start to finish album, is to go song by song, and look at what each one is about. Lets get down to brass tacks:

Thunder On The Mountain – Fireflies, dragons and roses growing wild by a lake in New Hampshire. Written entirely by firelight from candles made of rare Bavarian wax. Cookies and cream and deep fried shrimp at the county fair next to the booth of Siamese midgets and a live giraffe you can feed for a fee. Hot coals on cold nights and cider in a cracked cup with a cinnamon stick floating to the top.

Spirit on the Water – The national debt. The war on tuna. The million dollar ball player and his agent's cousin who's sleeping with the right hand man's second in command. The night sky in Toledo Ohio. Dr. Music's beard. Listerine past it's expiration date going foggy in the bottle. Walt Whitman. Bright lights on Broadway. Young love. Toe jam football.

Rollin' and Tumblin' – American sign language and it's overseas applications. Thinking widescreen. A Farewell to Arms and a call for funeral bombs. Board games in fading boxes in attics with cob webs, bats, and humane mouse traps. Smiling babies and screaming moms. Laying down on the job. Sun block. Flower picking. Old comic books. Electromagnets. Busty blondes. Leggy blondes. A little from column A and a little from column B.

When the Deal Goes Down – Road trips. Rampant commercialism. Raspy voices and photographic memories. Prescription drugs and modern medicine. The big lie. Everything. Greeting cards. Self sacrifice. Tom Hanks. Vietnam. Hangovers. Business. The end of something. Handbags. Rubber frogs falling from heaven. Rhyme scheme.

Someday Baby – The past is prime real estate in my mind. Penny Arcades and trailer park loves. Broken sneakers and bike rides through the gravel. Sweet sounds. Laughter in the wind. The night they drove old Trixie down to the sewer on a city bus. Wayne Gretzky. Los Angeles in June. Muddy Waters, Charlie Patton, similar themes in, well in Modern Times of course. Charlie Chaplin. Mohegan Sun. Chili peppers. Blackjack. Credit card debt.

Workingman's Blues #2 – Teenagers in Canada. Cheap booze. Cheap eats. New York City. The Statue of Lou Reed. Technology. Bottleneck Blues. The Civil War. Ben Franklin base jumping the Sears Tower with Robert E Lee, The Dukes of Hazard and Allen Ginsberg. Bloodshot eyes and more lies. Bad pizza on Amsterdam avenue. Giant spiders and fifty foot women. Killer Tomatoes and the dark side of reality.

Beyond the Horizon – Japan. Big screen TVs. Idle threats from angry Jamaicans. Lazarus. Richard the 3rd. James Bond in the cellar designing websites for the DJ and his boy. Madman across the Potomac. Remade doo wop tunes playing round the old ice rink where the young ones hold hands by the slushee machine 'cept for the one that sits alone. Practice makes practice. Pro-football. Plastic products. Pygmalion. Jesus.

Nettie Moore – Banana trees in Yemen. Geologic anomalies. Arabian constellation mishaps. Trampolines. The world wide web. Seven letter words. Independent film. Latino dance parties. James Joyce. Cheeseburgers. Smokey backroom card games. The moonstone. Pro-wrestling. Long dead friends. The recently departed. Monty Python. Echhart Tolle. Chocolate. Paul Giamatti. The academy awards. Labrador retrievers and pugs. Four sisters of the bride. The dingy across the river. His true love Suze and the one that came before the flood.

The Levee's Gonna Break – Body wash and Bill Murray going though it all over and over again. The sweet smell of success. Hot water. A clean shave. Duane Allman. Prince Harry and pork fried rice. Cousin Condoleezza. Islam. Malcolm in the middle. Exene Credence. Henry Rollins. Pat Sajack in a bar fight with Alex Trebeck. What is irony. Not that. It's coincidence baby and that's about all we got. That and the wonder bra.

Ain't Talking – You know, I'm not really sure.


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