rough & rowdy ways
Dylan's first album of original material in 8 years is yet another late-career masterpiece; a wizened epic of dense lyrical labyrinths, sporadically moistened by stomping blues invigoration.
The 79 year old draws on touchstones across the breadth of human history, from homer to wes craven, observing connections that lay unseen until his pen met paper. Largely set to sleepy acoustic instrumentation, the record evokes a picture of bob alone, ruminating in the silence after the fans have gone home. And in that silence, inspiration and wisdom pour forth in abundance. “For all its bleakness, Rough and Rowdy Ways might well be Bob Dylan’s most consistently brilliant set of songs in years: the die-hards can spend months unravelling the knottier lyrics, but you don’t need a PhD in Dylanology to appreciate its singular quality and power” 5/5 – the guardian.