“Together Through Life” (Joint Review)
I’m not the biggest Dylan fan, but I must admit I love his early work and I absolutely love ‘Time Out Of Mind’. The new album takes off where ‘Modern Times’ left off, with a bluesy swagger to his songwriting. It’s the swagger of someone who has come to the conclusion that he can do anything, which he has.
‘Together Through Life’ is Dylan’s 33rd studio album and his voice sounds like it, it’s as raspy as anything, but I think it adds to the music surprisingly. It gives Dylan’s lyrics another dimension, because at last his voice sounds like that of a man who has lived a life and a half, which is finally deserving of the lyrics.
I must admit, ‘Modern Life’ didn’t really do anything for me, and to me it was terribly overrated, but with ‘Together Through Life’ I think he’s made an album that’s deserving of all the praise it gets.
The album is one that has been heavily influenced by early blues acts and this can be heard throughout the album, he’s been doing his own radio show and he’s actually been playing some really cool blues songs, I’d love to hear the show, because it’s really showcasing Dylan’s influences. I think this is why the album has such a revitalised feeling, because Dylan is playing music that he’s been wanting to play for a while, and you can really sense that he’s having a great time playing it.
The opening track, ‘Beyond Here Lies Nothin” sets the album off in the right direction, and it stays that way for the rest of the album. It’s largely a hybrid of South American music and blues, a weird combination, but he pulls it off.
‘My Wife’s Old Town’ or hell, as he calls it, is another stand out of the album. It’s also probably the most blues influenced song on the album, but he bends the song with the wavering accordion, which gives the song something that sets it apart from most others of its kind.
The lyrics on the album are co-written by poet/writer Robert Hunter, and I can’t really tell whether this is a good thing or a bad thing yet. They are still cryptic and witty, but there is something missing. The lyrics are written like poems and do stand on there own amazingly well, but in the end, there’s no real phrases or verses that catch the ear.
‘Together Through Life’ really surprised me, it’s definitely not the best album he’s made and it probably isn’t even close to some of his masterpieces, but it was so unexpectedly good. I’ll leave you with something that Bob Dylan himself said of the album, “I know my fans will like it. Other than that, I have no idea” and that really sums the album up.