Album review: Bob Dylan - Tempest
Another strong showing from the gargling septuagenarian storyteller.
The latest addition to the surprisingly vibrant canon comprising Dylan’s dotage, Tempest is a 10-song eye-opener.
But the epic title track – an almost funereally paced, wildly reinvented retelling of the Titanic disaster – is no typical example.
At nigh-on 14 minutes it packs in Cameron’s fictional Jack Dawson, murderous passengers and sinking-ship horror. A vivid picture; but the best of it could have been packed into half as much swaying country and slide guitar.
Dylan’s rasping vocals are revealing his age, too, particularly on foot-tapping opening gambit Duquesne Whistle where his voice scratches for the high note at the end of a line.
“I ain’t dead yet, my bell still rings,” he rattles more comfortably on Early Roman Kings, a fiery take on Muddy Waters’ Mannish Boy.
But despite low-power delivery he is lucid and his vignettes, lyricism and wit are still switchblade sharp.
- 1 Hit Brighton food hall operator to open Upper Street venue
- 2 Islington men charged after jewellery store robbery
- 3 'Save Islington's buses': Call for action as sweeping cuts loom
- 4 New Aldi on Old Street to open this month
- 5 Man charged after staff assault at Barking Asda
- 6 Protest erupts at the North London Waste Authority re-election meeting
- 7 Old Bailey: Pair enter pleas over Alex Smith murder
- 8 CCTV: Woman sexually assaulted at Highbury & Islington station
- 9 Man charged with 1974 murder of woman found in Highbury
- 10 Old Bailey courts closed as barrister strike action gets under way
Perfect, then, for the murder ballads, lechery, envy, retribution and obsession populating this LP. Overall, it has to be said: Weather the storm, it’s worth it.