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Bob Dylan's Mediocre New Release Has No Bearing On How Cool He Is

Bob_dylan Bob Dylan released something like his 10,000,000th studio album, Together Through Life, last week and, as of Sunday, it was still #1 on iTunes. That makes perfect sense because Bob Dylan is the coolest person in the world. I didn't even include him on Jason's List because I assumed that it went without saying that he gets a lifetime pass. He can sell Pepsi all he wants. If Jason's next question is: Who is the coolest person currently living on planet earth, BOB DYLAN! That's my answer. Tell me someone cooler. LA LA LA LA LA LA CAN'T HEAR YOU! Bob Dylan. That's who I figured you'd say.

So in honor of the new release, I listen to the whole album and review as I go. I will try to review it fairly but it's tough to be fair when you're talking about your Dad.

OK, Bob Dylan isn't really my Dad, but that would be cool as hell if Bob Dylan was my Dad.

TRACK #1: BEYOND HERE LIES NOTHIN'. First of all, before I even start listening, that's pretty depressing, Bob Dylan. You might consider a brighter outlook in terms of the beyond. It could be anything, Mr. Pessimism. OK, listening now. Wait a second. This sounds a lot more chipper than the title implies. OK, I misinterpreted the title. This is about Bob and his lady and how's there nothing beyond there love. I'm keeping my ear open for Dylan pearls but there's not much here. He starts talking about windows on the street and how they're made of glass but then he just drops the ball and starts talking about how awesome love is. Eh.

TRACK #2: LIFE IS HARD. Damn Bob. That's two bleak titles in a row. Cheer up, man. The opening strains of quickly plucked guitar are sad as hell and Bob mutters a bunch of sad stuff about evening wind and lost ways and then DAMMIT BOB DYLAN! Life is hard because some chick left him. You are 67-years-old man. This albumn better not be all about love and whining about girls. Tell me something cool about poor people or some shit. There's more fish in the sea, Bob Dylan.

TRACK #3: MY WIFE'S HOME TOWN. Dylan's got some swing beat thing happening here. It makes me feel like I should be sneaking hooch in a speakeasy. He's pretty growly and lively on this one. I like it immediately. "Well there's reasons for that / And reasons for this / I can't think of any just now / But I know they exist". Awesome. Wait hold the phone. WHAT THE?!? DYLAN JUST DROPPED THE F-BOMB! DYLAN SAID THE FUCK WORD! Holy shit! I have 7.59 GB of Dylan and I've never heard him say the fuck word. "I lost my reasons long ago / Motherfucker is all I know". Oh this is cool. I'm imagining Old Dylan with a hoodie. "Straight outta Minnesota / Crazy motherfucker named Zimmerman". Sweet. This song ends with Dylan giggling like a badass. Two thumbs way up.

TRACK #4: IF YOU EVER GO TO HOUSTON. I can't get with this. There's this instument constantly going wahhhh wah (an accordion? an organ?) the whole song and it's all sing songy. I want to shoot my foot. OK, it's over. I will never play that track again. My son just walked by and asked me what was wrong.

TRACK #5: FORGETFUL HEART. I haven't pushed play yet. There's huge stupid mushy potential in that title. OK, I just played it. You know what makes me sad/ Here's what makes me sad. Dylan was a god damn visionary, you know? And I get it. I understand that you get old and the Muse abandons you. Fine. But still, I can't help imagining Old Bob Dylan with his little pad of paper. Looking at the moon. Rubbing his chin. Then he jots down these verses. There's not an evocative image within 50 miles of this song. But then I imagine Old Bob Dylan reading it over and nodding his head. Then he mutters a self-satisifed "Awesome". And that makes me sad.

TRACK #6: JOLENE. Whatever.

TRACK #7: THIS DREAM OF YOU. "There's a movement when / All old things become new again". Say that shit, Bob. I'm sorry about that mean stuff I wrote about Track 5. Can we still be friends, Bob Dylan? "Shadows dance upon the wall / Shadows that seem to know it all". Oh, this song made me smile. Grab someone you love and dance slow. Bob Dylan is reflecting on the wispy nature of it all and searching for substance in the steady stream of disappearance. And what does he find? The Dream of You. But dreams aren't real. Wait. Oh Bob Dylan. You slick old man.

TRACK #8: SHAKE SHAKE MAMA: Hated. This track was 3:37 and it takes me 4 minutes to tie off a noose. Whew.

TRACK #9. I FEEL A CHANGE COMIN' ON. Oh man what a great song. It made me want to walk through the park on a Sunday afternoon with a little bounce in my step. All kinds of weird Bob Dylan utterances going off in all directions that don't seem to make any sense and yet they linger on the edge of sense so they stick in your craw and make you wonder. Always circling back to "I feel a change comin' on / And the last part of the day is already gone". This is Dylan almost at the end of maybe his last album talking about a change coming at the end of the day. It gives me chills. Bob Dylan is going to sing until he drops dead. Thank god for Bob Dylan.

TRACK #10. IT'S ALL GOOD. Well Bob, no it's not.

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