Tempest’s epic scale and grandeur makes his few previous albums look like short stories leading up to a great novel.
Tempest is an album carved with tools of experience and maturity, but fired with an anger, smoulder and sorrow tempering itself just beneath the surface.
Even by such lofty standards, Tempest succeeds enormously, placing it not only in the upper half of Dylan’s catalog, but also with the better submissions of 2012.
After releasing the relatively unremarkable Together Through Life, it feels like something of a revelation to hear Dylan this fired up and playing to his strengths again.
If it indulges in itself too much in moments, Tempest is still a great album, though not the late-career defining collection that early buzz claims.
Tempest is a flawed but mostly fascinating album. It bears the restlessness of an artist seemingly as interested in making music as he's been for a while.
Dylan relies on his own gruffness as a substitute for real intent; he knows he doesn't have to work very hard to sound present, and so he doesn't, and so he isn't.
It's not an amazing, revolutionary new Bob Dylan record, but really: when did we last get one of those?
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