Bob Dylan Emerges from Lockdown with a New Modern Masterpiece
Dark and foreboding, it’s the humor and lyricism of Dylan’s latest album “Rough and Rowdy Ways” that shines a light on our times.
Bob Dylan is a heavyweight champion. Five stars aren’t enough for his new album, Rough and Rowdy Ways.
The album, released Friday, is a masterpiece, and a masterclass in lyric-writing in league with Dylan’s—and therefore anyone’s—best. While vaguely mining the same musical landscape Dylan has explored since 2001’s Love & Theft—a sort of modern day juke joint mixture of pre- and post-rock and roll swing—Dylan is on fire lyrically throughout Rough and Rowdy Ways, offering up ten songs as dense in imagery and flawless in craftsmanship and quality as any of his long career.
In a momentary fit of fanboydom, I once asked Tom Petty what Dylan was really like. A fan himself, Petty squinted over his sunglasses at me, smiled broadly and said, “Bob is really, really funny. Most people don’t get that.”