Bob Dylan’s Together Through Life: first impressions

An evening with Together Through Life was a pleasant experience: better than expected, not as strong as secretly hoped.

First impressions:

* musically engaging – urban blues and Tex-Mex styles more suited to Dylan than the easy crooning and plodding rockabilly of the previous two albums.

* lyrically – worth careful scrutiny, though words seem a trifle lightweight on a superficial hearing.

* the De Luxe package is intriguing: extra content a mixed blessing – already have TTRH show on tape, doubtful will ever listen to CD; DVD a hoot, presumably intentionally; bits of paper not destined for the bedroom wall or the car windscreen. Another beautifully designed artefact – for the third studio album in a row.

Dylan’s USP, to me, is poet, philosopher and musician, in that order. This CD’s songs, though more immediately attractive than those on the two previous albums, are probably destined to be cherry-picked for a revised “recent songs” compilation, few if any of whose constituents would make my Top 100 Bobsongs.

That said, I usually revise my opinions upwards after getting to know a new Dylan album.

What do YOU think of Together Through Life?

Gerry Smith

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One Response to “Bob Dylan’s Together Through Life: first impressions”

  1. Denis Mack Says:

    Impressions of Dylan’s Together Through Life

    The air is stuffy in here, slide guitar slipping down from upstairs, the light heavy with the sticky dust and the bubbling conversation. The thin figure on the red sofa in the white hat raises an eyebrow. The guitar is joined by Texan accordion. And it’s all good. The afternoon swings on, the hot breath of the day coming in sideways. And it’s all good. The door opens, the accordion rustles up a storm and the guitar goes quietly blue. Content to let the days go by. In the doorway the hot street peeks in and we step to the threshold take a look. The thin man tips his hat over his eyes and lets out a sigh but we hardly catch his words. Walking out the guitar is steely ice on the backs of our necks out into the Texas heat. And turning, the door is gone. And it’s all good.

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