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music

Bob Dylan

I HEARD A TRACK from Bob Dylan's new Time Out of Mind (Columbia) on the radio a few weeks before the album’s release. I didn’t recognize the voice right away, but I was moved by its unique and powerful sound, like a venerable, shamanic Delta blues man backed by some weird, Tom Waits–like band. It was profound blues, ancient and future music.

Before the song was over it hit me that it was Dylan with another new voice: deep, dark, aged in wood, like maybe the same wood Dante Alghieri wrote about rambling in. Dylan is a spiritual itinerant and his Time Out of Mind has ramblin’ music for all forms of transience, including hoboing and soul revue transmigration.

Dylan has always come up with new voices, like he’s changing channels, and you get used to them quickly. Now I don’t know how I could have not recognized him right off—older, wiser, more radioactive. Cooler than ever but ready to implode

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