OK, I heard about the the 5 star reviews of Bob Dylan's Tempest, in both Rolling Stone (meaningless) and Mojo (not meaningless) and I have streamed the album through a total of once and let me start by warning you. It isn't a 5 star album. Mo tracks are 1st tier 60s Dylan, many are 1st Tier 21st century Dylan, and sinking like a stone is the fourteen minute title track.
Just to be straight here, "Tempest" isn't good music. A tedious waltz on a loop, it goes on and on and on until everybody is dead. I haven't had the chance to seriously study the lyric. Apparently Leonardo di Caprio makes an appearance, art imitating life imitating art imitating life imitating tedium. The thing about "Tempest" is, it can't suck. It can't be 14 minutes of splutterring in words like Pollack flicking on a canvas without the music getting you off. But that's what it is.
And that's the absolute worse I can say about it. I adore the rest of the album, essentially inequivocally though this is on a single streaming. The rockabilly "Early Roman Kings", the devastated "Pay In Blood" (a much better song than its title suggests) and the remembrance of the late great Johnny Lennon, which isn't as heartbroken as Paul Simon's, but has the benefit on distance.
I may review this again once I've actually bought it, or I may not. And it may be a must hear even if it is so solipsistic in its damaged sorrow, all you are getting is further insight into the strangeness that is Dylan. But it isn't a classic because it sinks like the Titanic.
TAGS: Album Reviews 2012