Friday, September 22, 2006

Modern times, Ancient man

because good ol' zimmy inspired the blogname, i shall baptise the blog with my views on 'modern times', his latest album. much has already been written in the media about the album and its climbng up the charts beating the likes of beyonce et al.

musically, he experiments beautifully with varied genres like pre-rock 'n' roll, country blues and swingtime jazz. and you get all this lace with his whiskey-wisdom soaked voice. lyrically, he fills it up with wittily self-depreciative asides ('my mind tied up in knots, i keep recycling the same old thoughts'), heartfelt love poems and (most surprising of all) harsh political critique (couched as ever in Biblical terminology) on the grand finale, ''ain't talkin' - dylan's 44th album is much more than i had expected from this 65-year old genius.

the worrying musings on mortality have given way to a frankly peppy acceptance of his place in the world. he even name-checks alicia keys (i was thinkin' 'bout alicia keys, couldn't keep from crying when she was born in hell's kitchen, i was living down the line)

some words from my personal favorite, 'aint talking' (with the shades of 'highlands' from 'time out of mind'). look-out for the usage, 'toothache in my heel'...only a dylan can do it!

All my loyal and my much-loved companions
They approve of me and share my code
I practice a faith that's been long abandoned
Ain't no altars on this long and lonesome road

Ain't talkin', just walkin'
My mule is sick, my horse is blind.
Heart burnin', still yearnin'
Thinkin' 'bout that gal I left behind.

Well, it's bright in the heavens and the wheels are flyin'
Fame and honor never seem to fade
The fire gone out but the light is never dyin'
Who says I can't get heavenly aid?

Ain't talkin', just walkin'
Carryin' a dead man's shield
Heart burnin', still yearnin'
Walkin' with a toothache in my heel

some trivia on the album:

- dylan is currently featured in an iPod commercial, seen performing "someday baby" from the album

- a short film starring scarlett johansson and set to dylan's new song "when the deal goes down" premiered on AOL and was released online and to video channels last thursday. directed by academy award nominee bennett miller (capote), the film was shot on 8mm and takes place in the early 1960s. clues connecting the film's scenes to dylan's early career are creatively placed throughout the piece.

- the album is self-produced under the pseudonym Jack Frost (cute!!!)

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