In recent years, Dylan has turned his hand to penning songs for motion pictures. "Life Is Hard" is one such song, one he loved so much he knocked off a few extra tunes. I wasn't expecting another Dylan album so soon after Modern Times
, yet Together Through Life
is a worthy addition to his catalogue, just for "Life Is Hard" alone.
Although most of the album is standard Dylan blues stuff, with unoriginal tried-and-trusted melodies, that Dylan croak, and lyrics that don't extend much beyond the usual blues cliches, Together Through Life
remains utterly listenable. And with his own 'Jack Frost' production, Dylan is using technology to make albums sound as natural as they can in the digital age.
Take the repetitive bluesie "It's All Good" for example - it has an accordion (an instrument that's all over this album), a beating bassline, brushed jerky drums, and the odd unobtrusive electric lead, yet there is a groove, which Dylan sits on top of with his ancient voice. If performed by a 20-something Dylan, the song would fit comfortably on Bringing It All Back Home
Some of the better melodies here include "I Feel A Change Comin' On", a song that weaves a soft Spanish/Mexican feel with good lyrics and vocal melodies; and the album opener "Beyond Here Lies Nothin'" (used to advertise the album on TV). The slow-blues of "My Wife's Home Town" is less memorable though, as is "This Dream of You" - both tunes are utterly forgettable.
Still, on the whole Together Through Life
is another solid Dylan album, extending a run of consistency not seen from him since the 1960's.Rated:
by Reviewer: Adrian Denning
(blogging at Adrian's Album Reviews