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Time Out of Mind

Bob Dylan

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Album Review

After spending much of the '90s touring and simply not writing songs, Bob Dylan returned in 1997 with Time Out of Mind, his first collection of new material in seven years. Where Under the Red Sky, his last collection of original compositions, had a casual, tossed-off feel, Time Out of Mind is carefully considered, from the densely detailed songs to the dark, atmospheric production. Sonically, the album is reminiscent of Oh Mercy, the last album Dylan recorded with producer Daniel Lanois, but Time Out of Mind has a grittier foundation — by and large, the songs are bitter and resigned, and Dylan gives them appropriately anguished performances. Lanois bathes them in hazy, ominous sounds, which may suit the spirit of the lyrics, but are often in opposition to Dylan's performances. Consequently, the album loses a little of its emotional impact, yet the songs themselves are uniformly powerful, adding up to Dylan's best overall collection in years. It's a better, more affecting record than Oh Mercy, not only because the songs have a stronger emotional pull, but because Lanois hasn't sanded away all the grit. As a result, the songs retain their power, leaving Time Out of Mind as one of the rare latter-day Dylan albums that meets his high standards.

Customer Reviews

Ahh, the late 90's Dylan

This album came on the heels of Dylan's collaboration and touring with the Grateful Dead. "Trying to get to Heaven" and "Not Dark Yet" are absolute classics which have typically clever Dylan lyrics with a touch of Dead-esque, melancholy.

It's Not Dark Yet

The 1990's were an extremely tough time for Dylan. He made Under The Red Sky, which was a dud, didn't sell, and depressed Dylan because of it. After that, he went into writer's block, didn't make an album of original material for 7 years - with two albums of original folk covers. Time Out of Mind, was in a way, his best since Desire in 1975. It's not dark yet, and it ain't gettin' there either.

Biography

Born: May 24, 1941 in Duluth, MN

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Bob Dylan's influence on popular music is incalculable. As a songwriter, he pioneered several different schools of pop songwriting, from confessional singer/songwriter to winding, hallucinatory, stream-of-consciousness narratives. As a vocalist, he broke down the notion that a singer must have a conventionally good voice in order to perform, thereby redefining the vocalist's role in popular music. As a musician, he sparked several genres of pop music, including electrified folk-rock and country-rock....
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