Bob Dylan has more to say

Chloe Quinn

For a soon-to-be 68 year old man who was considered a musical force of nature during the revolution of the sixties, the musical genius Bob Dylan remains as strong as ever four decades later. From album to album, Bob Dylan continuously evolves, shaping his music along the way, and he’s back again for another round, signature raspy voice and all.

Dylan always has something to say about the current state of the world, and right now he’s just plain angry about America’s circumstances: a decrepit economy, people without jobs and homeless, and a nation struggling to learn from its mistakes. In Dylan’s eyes, the situation may look downright miserable and somewhat hopeless, but he still knows how to create a beautiful story out of the most unfortunate of situations.

In his 33rd studio album “Together Through Life” Dylan clearly expressed a solid message; he didn’t concern himself with over-produced sounds, perfect vocal effects, and excessive background instrumentals. In fact, the majority of Dylan’s latest compilation of songs centers on the rawness of his voice instead of crowding itself with excess material.

Known for his innovative and versatile style, Dylan jumps from bluesy beats and country tones to rock and folk varieties. His ability to successfully integrate genres of music is expressed by the complexity of the album.

Produced under his pseudonym Jack Frost, Dylan managed to create an album that searches deep in the heart without seeming over-zealous about the process. Overall, his songs embody a live quality; Dylan’s characteristic nasally growls and thought-provoking lyrics drive the album while the melodies and instruments fill in the empty spaces.

For nine of the ten tracks on “Together Through Life,” Dylan collaborated with the Grateful Dead’s songwriter Robert Hunter, and the words in their songs deliver hard-core commentaries about the times. Dylan’s voice seems toughened with experience, as if he’s seen the worst and lived to sing about it in his poetic lyrics.

The majority of the songs on the album, such as “I Feel a Change Comin’ On” and “My Wife’s Home Town” on which Dylan sings of a town called Hell, are mocking allusions to the failures of politics; on “It’s All Good,” with a lively beat and jangling accordion, Dylan caustically sings of modern society’s downfalls while repeating the falsely assuring “It’s all good” line with a twisted sneer.
“Together Through Life” is not a collection of songs that immediately stick in the mind, but Dylan’s rough tales of tough times show that regardless of what is happening in the world, he’s not afraid to let his voice be heard.

Dylan sounds as raw and irritated as ever about the things going wrong, transforming his emotions into intense lyrical pieces––classic Bob Dylan.