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Like A Rolling Stone: Bob Dylan

Together Through Life

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The album is out now, and reached number 1 in both the US and UK!

Read a fantastic interview with Dylan here at his own website.
 
ttl.jpg picture by dharmabums

REVIEWS:
 
"It's a powerful personal work by a man who still thinks for himself in an era of fear, conformity, and dehumanization. That it rocks mightily makes the message even more compelling. Whatever the hell it gets called, it'll be in the running for Best Album Of 2009"
- Michael Simmons, MOJO more
 
"What Bob Dylan is accomplishing these days is unprecedented to the point of being supernatural."
- JBev, JamsBio.com more
 
"...a raffish riff on romance...yarns, wry and real, of ordinary folks in the grip of lust, longing and heartache...Dylan has captured the vibrant, visceral, ramshackle sound of music made on the fly." Four Stars.
- Edna Gunderson, USA Today more
 
"Latter period Dylan is turning out to be some of his deepest, richest work. Together Through Life is another brilliant, sure-handed outing by one of the few certified greats still living up to his legend."
- Joel Selvin, San Francisco Chronicle more
 
"Together Through Life presents the 67-year-old on top of his game and completely aware of it. Throughout the album, the swagger and style present testifies to a life without regret and a voice more alive than ever."
- Julian Williams, The Ithacan more
 
"While Dylan's voice has opened up to become not only an intrinsic part of musical history, he has also adapted the role of living curator of a time and place almost erased by those who care more about the trappings of stardom than the roots of music. He is not trying to prove anything. But, as our world slides towards the brink of chaos, maybe Dylan does have the answer." 4.5 Near Classic
- David Harris, Spectrum Culture more
 
"Dylan...has never sounded as ravaged, pissed off and lusty, all at once, as he does on Together Through Life." Four stars.
- David Fricke, ROLLING STONE more
 
"...his warmest, most unforced, set of songs in recent memory." Four stars.
- Pete Paphides, The Times more
 
"Together Through Life is a beautifully played collection of antique blues pop." Four stars.
- Neil McCormick, The Telegraph more
 
"...he's going off the cliff along with everyone else, yet he's laughing all the way down." Five stars.
- Rob Sheffield, Blender more
 
"And yet if the aptly titled "Together Through Life" turns out to be the last album that America's most important song poet records, its mix of inscrutability, flashed teeth, existential angst, deep sorrow, deadpan humor and dead-on takedowns would make it a perfectly satisfactory coda to a remarkable half-century of musicmaking. "
- Joe Heim, Washington Post more
 
"Longtime fans and neophytes will all probably be grateful for the economical punch provided by Together Through Life
- Ann Powers, Los Angeles Times more
 
"The album's a gas, a riot, a hoot." Five stars
- Allan Jones, Uncut more
 
"The album’s unifying preoccupation: love that’s not trustworthy, love with nasty side effects, and the experienced man’s defense against it. Singing these offhand bursts of nihilism... Mr. Dylan’s extraordinary voice surrounds you."
- Ben Ratliff, New York Times more
 
"As the world reinvents itself in these re-orienting times, Together Through Life's neighborhood cappuccino club warmth instead offers shelter from the storm. It's a tonic whose pace is moderate, music is organic, lyrics are intelligent, and feel is refreshingly human."
- Mike Ragogna, Huffington Post more
 
"Timely masterpiece...the perfect soundtrack for down-but-not-out America, a clear-eyed, often elegant-sounding, road map that notes the struggles, but keeps its focus on making it through - with your sense of humor intact, no less."
- Glenn Gamboa, Newsday more
 
"Dylan has found his 21st century feet in musical touchstones almost 100 years old. And yet, through his growling, puckish delivery and crack band, it comes across fresh and vibrant. Here’s to Dylan finding more of his future in the sounds of the past." A-
- Jed Gottlieb, Boston Herald more
 
"Another genius Dylan disc...Together Through Life continues Dylan's Indian summer string of masterpieces, and it's a cut above 2006's Modern Times."
- Brad Bamberger, Newark Star-Ledger more
 
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"I'm listening to Billy Joe Shaver/And I'm reading James Joyce/Some people tell me I got the blood of the land in my voice," Bob Dylan sings in a leathery growl, capturing the essence of his forthcoming studio album — raw-country love songs, sly wordplay and the wounded state of the nation — in "I Feel a Change Coming On," one of the record's 10 new originals.

Set for April 28, Thogether Through Life arrives a few months after Dylan's outtakes collection Tell Tale Signs, and it "came as a surprise," says a source close to Dylan's camp. Last year, filmmaker Olivier Dahan, who directed the 2007 Edith Piaf biopic, La Vie en Rose, approached Dylan about writing a song for his next feature. Dylan responded with "Life Is Hard," a bleak ballad with mandolin, pedal steel and him singing in a dark, clear voice, "The evening winds are still/I've lost the way and will". Dylan says, "The only thing he needed for sure was a ballad for the main character to sing towards the end of the movie. We started off with 'Life Is Hard' and then the record sort of took its own direction." The song will appear in My Own Love Song, starring Renee Zellweger.

Inspired, Dylan kept writing and recording songs with his road band and guests, with Los Lobos' David Hidalgo rumored on accordion. Dylan produced the album under his usual pseudonym, Jack Frost.

The disc has the live-in-the-studio feel of Dylan's last two studio records, 2001's Love and Theft and 2006's Modern Times, but with a seductive border-cafe feel (courtesy of the accordion on every track) and an emphasis on struggling-love songs. The effect — in the opening shuffle, "Beyond Here Lies Nothin'," the Texas-dancehall jump of "If You Ever Go to Houston" and the waltz "This Dream of You" — is a gnarly turn on early-1970s records like New Morning and Planet Waves.

Dylan makes references to the national chaos, as on the viciously funny slow blues "My Wife's Home Town" ("State gone broke, the county's dry/Don't be lookin' at me with that evil eye"), culminating in the deceptive rolling rock of "It's All Good." Against East L.A. accordion and a snake's nest of guitars, Dylan tells you how bad things are — "Brick by brick, they tear you down/A teacup of water is enough to drown" — then ices each verse with the title line, a pithy shot of sneering irony and calming promise. "You would never expect the record after Modern Times to sound like this," the source says. "Bob takes all of those disparate elements you hear and puts them into a track. But you can't put your finger on it — 'It sounds exactly like that.' That's why he's so original."

In the Q&A posted on his website, Dylan explains he took a new sonic direction because "These songs don’t need to cover the same ground. Talking about his audience, he adds:

"There didn’t seem to be any general consensus among my listeners. Some people preferred my first period songs. Some, the second. Some, the Christian period. Some, the post Colombian. Some, the Pre-Raphaelite. Some people prefer my songs from the nineties. I see that my audience now doesn’t particular care what period the songs are from. They feel style and substance in a more visceral way and let it go at that. Images don’t hang anybody up. Like if there’s an astrologer with a criminal record in one of my songs it’s not going to make anybody wonder if the human race is doomed. Images are taken at face value and it kind of freed me up."


Thank you to Rolling Stone and BobDylan.com

"Bob Dylan freed your mind,
like Elvis freed your body."

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