michael gallucci

REVIEW — BOB DYLAN: TOGETHER THROUGH LIFE

In Uncategorized on 05/05/2009 at 4:50 am

Bob Dylan

Together Through Life

(Columbia)



Bob Dylan has been doing effortless for almost 50 years now. From the very start of his career, when he was channeling Woody Guthrie, to his recent renaissance records about memories and mortality, Dylan sounds like a man who doesn’t have a care in the world. His music – through all the twists and turns and detours and sidetracks they’ve taken over the years – has rarely sounded forced. On Together Through Life, Dylan doesn’t even sound like he’s trying. But not in a bad way. The 10 songs come out so natural, you can imagine Dylan writing, recording and forgetting about them before he even had his morning cup of coffee. Unlike his two other drooled-over albums of the decade – 2001’s Love and Theft and 2007’s Modern TimesTogether Through Life doesn’t pitch a tent in America’s past. It’s a roots record (Dylan’s most roots-oriented album in decades, in fact), but one that finds comfort in the present, not in days gone by. There’s still some reminiscing here about old schoolyards and dying breaths, but he’s living for the moment most of the time. Backed by his solid but anonymous touring band and especially Los Lobos’ David Hidalgo on accordion, Dylan breezes past Together Through Life’s best songs (“Beyond Here Lies Nothin’,” “I Feel a Change Comin’ On,” “It’s All Good”) like they’re merely more sights on his lazy stroll to wherever it is he’s going. Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter co-wrote most of the words with Dylan, so the album is stuffed with autumn-hued images that are as tossed-off as the music. But the casualness suits Dylan by now. There’s no pillaging of the American songbook; there’s no minstrel show of hands either. Together Through Life is Dylan being Dylan, taking it easy and not getting worked up over a single thing. –Michael Gallucci

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