TOGETHER THROUGH LIFE in the news (updated 5/1/09)

Mar 18, 2009

Bob Dylan’s new album Together Through Life is now available! Here’s what the critics are saying. Please write your own comments on this page:

USA Today‘s Edna Gunderson: “a raffish riff on romance…yarns, wry and real, of ordinary folks in the grip of lust, longing and heartache…Dylan has captured the vibrant, visceral, ramshackle sound of music made on the fly.” Four Stars.

JamsBio‘s JBev: “What Bob Dylan is accomplishing these days is unprecedented to the point of being supernatural.”

Spectrum Culture‘s David Harris: “While Dylan’s voice has opened up to become not only an intrinsic part of musical history, he has also adapted the role of living curator of a time and place almost erased by those who care more about the trappings of stardom than the roots of music. He is not trying to prove anything. But, as our world slides towards the brink of chaos, maybe Dylan does have the answer.” 4.5 Near Classic

Washington Post‘s Joe Heim: “And yet if the aptly titled “Together Through Life” turns out to be the last album that America’s most important song poet records, its mix of inscrutability, flashed teeth, existential angst, deep sorrow, deadpan humor and dead-on takedowns would make it a perfectly satisfactory coda to a remarkable half-century of musicmaking. ”

Newsday‘s Glenn Gamboa: “Timely masterpiece…the perfect soundtrack for down-but-not-out America, a clear-eyed, often elegant-sounding, road map that notes the struggles, but keeps its focus on making it through – with your sense of humor intact, no less.”

Huffington Post‘s Mike Ragogna: “As the world reinvents itself in these re-orienting times, Together Through Life’s neighborhood cappuccino club warmth instead offers shelter from the storm. It’s a tonic whose pace is moderate, music is organic, lyrics are intelligent, and feel is refreshingly human.”

Uncut‘s Allan Jones: “The album’s a gas, a riot, a hoot.” Five stars

San Francisco Chronicle‘s Joel Selvin: “The offhand, crudely informal atmosphere of the new Bob Dylan album, “Together Through Life,” is a deceit. Beneath the apparently tossed off blues tracks and carelessly drawled vocals lies a master of details and pungent, piquant observations, couched as old blues songs. The music feels fresh, organic, and Dylan imbues each song with a powerful sense of storytelling… All of the songs are sung by this ragged, weary, impossibly gravelly voice perfectly suited to the sensibilities of the pieces. Latter period Dylan is turning out to be some of his deepest, richest work. “Together Through Life” is another brilliant, sure-handed outing by one of the few certified greats still living up to his legend.”

Blender‘s Rob Sheffield: “he’s going off the cliff along with everyone else, yet he’s laughing all the way down.” Five stars.

Rolling Stone‘s David Fricke: “Dylan…has never sounded as ravaged, pissed off and lusty, all at once, as he does on Together Through Life.” Four stars.

The Telegraph‘s Neil McCormick: “Together Through Life is a beautifully played collection of antique blues pop.” Four stars.

The Hawk‘s Richard Hughes: “Relaxed and sage, Dylan does not need a feigning culmination to his career on record as he nears his 68th birthday. Originality and ‘being constantly in the state of becoming’ are far more important to Dylan. He really has been together with his listeners through life. He takes you “from the cradle to the grave” as Bono once put it. Together Through Life is another impressive outing in an unprecedented career with songs serving as little snapshots into an unfiltered and romantic view of life.”

The Ithacan‘s Julian Williams: “Together Through Life presents the 67-year-old on top of his game and completely aware of it. Throughout the album, the swagger and style present testifies to a life without regret and a voice more alive than ever.”

The Times‘s Pete Paphides: “his warmest, most unforced, set of songs in recent memory.” Four stars.

Los Angeles Times‘s Ann Powers

The New Yorker‘s Alex Ross

Mojo‘s Michael Simmons: “It’s a powerful personal work by a man who still thinks for himself in an era of fear, conformity, and dehumanization. That it rocks mightily makes the message even more compelling. Whatever the hell it gets called, it’ll be in the running for Best Album Of 2009.”