Bob Dylan - Rough and Rowdy Ways
Jun 18, 2020
50
Bob Dylan says cock. 10/10.

So I have a little confession to make: I've never listened to Bob Dylan. Look, I know how 'influencial' and 'great' and 'godsent' he is, and how he's the only 'Bob' that matters and all that jazz. I get that. But A) there are a million artists I love that I still haven't done a deep dive on, and B) there is SO MUCH Bob Dylan material it gets hard on where exactly to start.

Because he's been going HARD since 1960, he has an overwhelming amount of material. And that's putting it lightly, it feels like there is a Bob Dylan record for every thought I have ever had. And have I heard any of it? Sadly...no.

So when this showed up on Friday, I thought 'eh, why not'. I needed SOMETHING to listen to. And then the critic reviews came in. JESUS H CHRIST LOOK AT THEM! I swear they must have seen Jesus or something of it's ilk. Why is it so praised? Surely it's not just the NAME?! I thought if I was gonna get into Bob Dylans music at any point in time, it would be NOW.

There are a few worries going into an album like this. One, the artist is so experienced and so eclectic and so legendary that technically he doesn't even NEED to give their all. He could do 60 covers albums and he'd still sell out arenas. So technically, the quality doesn't even matter here. Plus, Bob Dylan isn't the same man he was back in the 60s. I'm not saying that aged musicians are usually shit, but would they even pull me into their works still at such an old age? Especially with This Album Cover, which looks...bad?

The answer is a semi yes. It's ok.

What we have here is a rugged, blusey album with emphisis of delivering a scummy portrait of people who like to get into cars for the speed and have a thing for danger. It's blues to a tee, and it honestly really works for Bob Dylans voice nowadays. There are years added to his voice, so songs of aged 'i really don't care' attitudes are much more convincing. You feel every word Mr Dylan says here, with every blues chord being played with a thick thunk.

And there is even a little bit of risk taking here. Not a lot, but some. Songs really are stretched out and played to their fullest ability here, and don't feel like they are being tortured because of it. Very few albums go under 4 minutes, and the song 'Key West (Philosopher Pirate)' being 9 and a half minutes, and the closing track 'Murder Most Fowl' is 17 goddamn minutes long of JFK dying. 17 minutes???

It clear that Bob knows what works exactly about Blues and how to make songs that go on for eternity seem to blur by in a well played manner. I never felt like Bob was forcing himself into these songs, and that everything felt like it was Bobs vision. It felt like an album that Bob wanted to make rather then an album he HAD to make. But then begs the question: at his age, should he be making more music. Because let's be fair, this isn't gunning top spot for AOTY any time soon. Hell, at points it feels more like poetry with blues jams more then your normal album. And that's both a blesaing...and a curse, because yes, Bob can write really great poetry, especially at this age, but honestly it just feels like it is what it is: a Bob Dylan record in 2020.

And while a Bob Dylan record in 2020 can be nice for a little bit, it sure does drag at points. An hour and ten minutes with very little variation does get boring at points, andbi just became extremely uninterested quite quickly. Which is a shame, because the writing on this album is really good, and I'd rather have Bob Dylan make a pretty decent blues record then to try and force himself to make a dance record. Jesus Christ no. But I wouldn't be writing an honest review if I said that this was the album to beat in 2020. And yes, this is the most stereotypical blue album I've heard in my life. If you want to know what the Blues sound sounds like to someone who listened to Blues once, listen to 'Crossing the Rubicon'.

Maybe it was slightly too optimistic to expect the 2020 Bob Dylan to be the most forward thinking rock album of the year, but by the way people build him but, Bob seems like a genuine genius. Maybe it's expectations that makebme think that this album is just OK. Perhaps. Either way...say it with me now...it just ain't my thing.

Also for the supposed best lyrical master of our lifetime, I laughed at a lot of these lines. 'Im Anne Frank, and Indiana Jones!'.

Favorite Jams: Mother of Muses, Murder Most Fowl, False Prophet

Lest Favorite: Crossing the Rubicon
9 Comments
Jun 19, 2020
Honestly, modern Bob Dylan is the worst starting point into getting into his music. He stopped caring decades ago and is now just making music to appease fans. The electric trilogy (Bringing It All Back Home, Highway 61 Revisited, Blonde On Blonde) is the best place to start to see why he is known as a lyrical genius.
Jun 19, 2020
@JustSomeGuy I'll keep this in mind, thanks!
Jun 19, 2020
Came here to say the same thing - the first three electric albums changed music and a lot of lives.
Jun 21, 2020
I couldn't disagree more with JustSomeGuy. Actually I could, because yes, Dylan from 2001 on is not the best place to start, even if it's probably his most solid era, except for one album.

Personally, I really enjoy the chronologic take to his career because you can see the narrative behind it. The change of tone on albums usually reflect changes on his takes on music, and not in a "discovering music" kind of way. It's a "way of seeing music" kind of way. And that probably explains why his music shifts sounds so much throughout his career.

But if you're not interested at all in the narrative, which would make his music 50% or more less interesting, the best place to start is surely Bringing it All Back Home. If you prefer how the first half sounds, go to the next two albums, if you prefer how the second half sounds, go to the previous four.
4d ago
I would tell people who think they already know everything about Dylan and everything by heart, take this album. He uses once again, he moves once again on all the paths he has taken in the course of his now 60-year-old career - you have to imagine, 60 years the man has been recording songs - he has covered. He moves on these paths, but they are much more than one would have thought, much broader paths, and they are interlinked.
I thought, it's like listening to this album very easily and without any special entrance requirements. You don't have to know much about Dylan, you don't have to know much about the quoted connections. There is no secrecy and no education gobble, also no pop-historical education gobble in it. You listen to the record easily and, I think, with much delight and sometimes even with emotion, but underneath it there are three, four, five, ten, twenty other records. It's the same record again and again and again and again.
4d ago
This review just ain’t my thing. And why should we care. This guy has never listened to Dylan lol. This album has depth and deep meaning. You learn about life when you listen to an album like this. It’s thought provoking and stimulates creative thought. This album gets better on repeat listens. Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet.
4d ago
Y'all like The Microphones?
4d ago
They should fire you. You are A) and idiot B) a crap writer and C) illiterate in the very thing you are supposed to write about. FInd another line of work.
2d ago
A suggestion: Change your name to “Mr. Jones.”
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