Bob Dylan
Modern Times
(Columbia)
In his dotage, Dylan has cleaned up his diction. You can make out the words, which still have some snap, like “I’m not nursing any superfluous fears,” from “Ain’t Talkin’.” Modern Times continues Dylan’s recent run of quality albums, just a bit less astounding than 2001’s Love and Theft. An overactive imagination can hear Louis Armstrong singing “When the Deal Goes Down” or Kermit the Frog doing “Beyond the Horizon.” His superb band makes it feel like a six-minute song is just getting going. When he’s long-winded now, Dylan could be your grampy telling one of his stories. Passion, love and death drive his art and he smoulders still to create a song you’ll never forget.
—Doug Taylor

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