The last thing I expected this spring was an album from old weird Bob Dylan that would stop me in my tracks, but that’s exactly what he delivered today with his first collection of original songs in 8 years. There were hints, when the stream of consciousness 17 minute wonder, Murder Most Foul, was released on YouTube a little while back. Mr. Dylan hasn’t offered up much to interest me in recent years but Rough and Rowdy Ways is fabulous throughout.
Mr. Dylan takes us on a strange apocalyptic trip through the end of the American Empire. In parts it’s humourous, hallucinogenic, melancholy, cranky, sometimes seemingly autobiographical. It’s a last stand kind of recording.
Three miles north of purgatory — one step from the great beyond/I prayed to the cross and I kissed the girls and I crossed the Rubicon
His voice is ragged and smokey, and when you least expect it he offers up unexpected subtlety. I’m really enjoying these performances.
Check it out.