Bob Dylan - Tempest
Critic Score
Based on 29 reviews
2012 Ratings: #21 / 1032
Year End Rank: #32
User Score
Based on 102 ratings
2012 Ratings: #285
Liked by 2 people
September 11, 2012 / Release Date
LP / Format
Columbia / Label
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Tiny Mix Tapes

Tempest’s epic scale and grandeur makes his few previous albums look like short stories leading up to a great novel.

Drowned in Sound

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. 

Beats Per Minute

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.

No Ripcord

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.

The 405

It's not an amazing, revolutionary new Bob Dylan record, but really: when did we last get one of those? 

Consequence of Sound

Simply put, Tempest is the perfect storm of everything we love, can’t stand, and just shrug our shoulders about when it comes to late-era Bob Dylan.

Dylan kicks off his 2010s releases by showing that even after a brief decline in quality he is still capable of consistently pumping out albums of a similar quality to his 2000s releases. The result is an album that may not be his best but is certainly a good one.

By this point in Dylan's discography, I think a lot of his fans have grown tired from this blues phase he has been going through. The past few albums in particular - namely Modern Times and Together Through Life - proved to be some ... read more
This is quite upbeat for a Tom Waits album.

Oops it’s Dylan. Fair enough.

As a massive Dylan fan, I do find it quite hard to return to 2012's Tempest. Not that it's bad, it has a lot to love like Dylans very bluesy lyricism and style but something about this album just feels like it's out staying it's welcome. Some of the instrumentation feels just dated and boring, the track "Narrow Way" is as generic as a blues song gets. I would say it is probably worth a listen if you're a Dylan fan and perhaps you could really love it, but this really is one of those ... read more
Best Songs: Duquesne Whistle; Roll On John
What's interesting about Bob Dylan's songwriting is that he can paint hundreds of amazing scenarios through his lyrics that get you immersed once you read the first few lines of a track while listening to the music (Ballad Of A Thin Man and Blowin' In The Wind are some excellent examples of this). Tempest does the amazing scenario gimmick but adds some dark elements to it, such as the melancholy Scarlet Town with the pianos, banjos and acoustic guitar set in C minor to give a gloomy Western ... read more
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Track List

  1. Duquesne Whistle 
  2. Soon After Midnight 
  3. Narrow Way 
  4. Long and Wasted Years 
  5. Pay in Blood 
  6. Scarlet Town 
  7. Early Roman Kings 
  8. Tin Angel 
  9. Tempest 
  10. Roll on John
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Added on: July 22, 2012