10 Songs, 1 Hour 8 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

His devotees noted Shakespeare's final play was named The Tempest, but 71-year-old Bob Dylan shot down speculation that it means this will be his final album. For the past decade, Dylan has sounded remarkably comfortable in the recording studio, releasing a string of albums that capture vintage blues, R&B and country string band music to complement his road-worn voice. "I ain't dead yet, my bell still rings," he sings on the "Mannish Boy"-influenced "Early Roman Kings" and it sounds like a reassurance. Dylan susses meaning from phrases others throw away. This is dark, dusty music with secrets tucked inside its riddles. "Duquesne Whistle," a collaboration with Robert Hunter, shuffles down the line. A hypnotizing riff works over "Narrow Way" for seven-plus minutes as Dylan quotes the Mississippi Sheiks. On "Pay In Blood," Dylan sounds like a man settling a score. "Scarlet Town" and "Tin Angel" extend the narratives, but it's the title track that squeezes 45 verses into 14 minutes for an epic that wanders from shipwreck to Leonardo DiCaprio without losing the thread.

EDITORS’ NOTES

His devotees noted Shakespeare's final play was named The Tempest, but 71-year-old Bob Dylan shot down speculation that it means this will be his final album. For the past decade, Dylan has sounded remarkably comfortable in the recording studio, releasing a string of albums that capture vintage blues, R&B and country string band music to complement his road-worn voice. "I ain't dead yet, my bell still rings," he sings on the "Mannish Boy"-influenced "Early Roman Kings" and it sounds like a reassurance. Dylan susses meaning from phrases others throw away. This is dark, dusty music with secrets tucked inside its riddles. "Duquesne Whistle," a collaboration with Robert Hunter, shuffles down the line. A hypnotizing riff works over "Narrow Way" for seven-plus minutes as Dylan quotes the Mississippi Sheiks. On "Pay In Blood," Dylan sounds like a man settling a score. "Scarlet Town" and "Tin Angel" extend the narratives, but it's the title track that squeezes 45 verses into 14 minutes for an epic that wanders from shipwreck to Leonardo DiCaprio without losing the thread.

TITLE TIME

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