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Modern Times

470 customer reviews

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Audio CD, August 29, 2006
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  • Includes FREE MP3 version of this album Here's how (restrictions apply)
  • Bob Dylan: "At last I was here, in New York City... I was there to find singers, the ones I'd heard on record--Dave Van Ronk, Peggy Seeger, Ed McCurdy, Brownie McGhee and Sonny Terry, Josh White, the New Lost City Ramblers, Reverend Gary Davis... most of all to find Woody Guthrie." Read more musical excerpts from Chronicles, Vol. 1 on our Music You Should Hear page.

  • • An Best Music of 2006 selection.

  • Check out the selection of Bob Dylan DVDs in our Music DVD Store.

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Bob Dylan's first new album in five years, the highly-anticipated Modern Times includes 10 new songs recorded this past winter, and features Dylan on the keyboard, guitar, harmonica and vocals, and accompanied by his touring band. Modern Times is seen as the third release in an outstanding triology along with Time Out Of Mind and Love and Theft and is set to be another groundbreaking record for the music icon.

At a time when the majority of those his age are drifting into retirement, 65-year-old Bob Dylan has put the capper on a three-record run that ranks with the best in his storied, 44-album career. Like Time Out of Mind and Love and Theft before it, Modern Times is a rootsy, blues-soaked pool of the purest form of Americana--skipping the progressive bells or whistles for an understated backing by his touring band. Dylan's voice, which cracks, rasps and moans from the pop singer's pulpit, hasn't been this rich and emotive since 1976's Desire. And while his lyrics prolong his steadfast allusions to a higher power and his own immortality, they are not without the Dylan mirth, as when he sings of tracking pop queen Alicia Keys from Hell's Kitchen to Tennessee in "Thunder on the Mountain," the album's opener, which teams with "Someday Baby" and "Rollin' and Tumblin'" (for which Dylan misguidedly claims writing credit) as the record's most fiery numbers. Still, it's the Dylan that tells of a slave-loving owner ("Nettie Moore"), brings New Orleans to the front burner ("The Levee's Gonna Break") and plays the part of an eloquent lounge singer ("Spirit on the Water," "When the Deal Goes Down" and "Beyond the Horizon") that makes Modern Times sound just like old times. --Scott Holter

Dylan Classics and Collections

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The Times They Are A-Changin'

Bringing It All Back Home

Highway 61 Revisited

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Bootleg Series 1-3: Rare 1961-1991 (Box Set)

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 29, 2006)
  • Original Release Date: August 29, 2006
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Columbia
  • ASIN: B000GFLAI0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (470 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,272 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

191 of 198 people found the following review helpful By Mike London on May 3, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Bob Dylan for the last few years has been one of the most exiting artists rock has to offer. He has written a best selling book, toured extensively, and recorded two highly regarded albums, putting him in a late career renaissance

Starting with 2001's effort, LOVE AND THEFT, and now this album, MODERN TIMES, Bob Dylan has newly occupied musical territory. Dylan has broken new ground with both these releases. Nothing in post-millennium rock sounds anything like these two records, and for good reason. Bob Dylan has turned back the clock to pre-rock and roll, and recorded some of the most exiting music of his career, focusing solely on American traditional music.

Dylan came into critical acclaim with the 1997 album, TIME OUT OF MIND. His first album of original songs in seven years, TOOM won best album of the year at the Grammies, and the first of three critically acclaimed albums. MT has been marketed as the end of this "trilogy," but Dylan disagrees with that assessment. TOOM, great album that it is, sounds totally separate from L&T and MT and is an album unto itself, totally separate from the music found on the next two releases. Dylan said MT would be the second part of a trilogy, if there is going to be one, with L&T being the first part.

When LOVE AND THEFT was released, Dylan impressed the critics and the fans a second time in a row. L&T is a markedly different album than its predecessor, TIME OUT OF MIND, which is a much darker, aesthetically different album. MODERN TIMES is very much a companion album to L&T, and proves the methodology behind his 2001 effort was not a one off fluke. Dylan does a wide variety of traditional music on MT, from blues to ballads to crackerjack rock and roll to apocalyptic visions of oncoming doom.
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113 of 127 people found the following review helpful By The Last Person You'd Expect on August 29, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Since Time Out Of Mind, us Dylan fans can be proud again to admit that we're fans of the new stuff, not just classic Dylan. Modern Times is his third in a streak of impeccable releases. The latest is a return to the styles Dylan introduced in Love and Theft-- country-blues and smart rockabilly. As with the most recent album, Dylan (aka Jack Frost) produced Modern Times; as such its feeling is closest to Love and Theft-- warmly personal, like listening to the band in a small nightclub.

The songs are longer, the lyrics arguably more memorable and there's a few more down-tempo ballads. Contrary to the popular notion that Dylan's voice is incomprehensible (probably owing to his horrible performance at his 30th anniversary concert), the singing is so clean you can understand everything without the benefit of a lyric sheet.

As I said, the songs are longer: the shortest is 4:58, the longest over eight minutes. Dylan borrows from blues standards on Rollin' and Tumblin' and The Levee's Gonna Break (no, he doesn't cover Led Zeppelin :), but liberally infuses a brilliant mess of his own lyricism. When the Deal Goes Down and Workingman's Blues, especially the latter, are his best ballads in decades. All in all, its not as forceful as Love and Theft. It's not as surprising as that album was, but hardly less of a masterpiece. His lyrics have gotten sharper and wittier, jumping out at you at odd moments with silly innuendos, jokes about getting old, an Alicia Keys name-drop, countless thought-provoking one-liners and an all-around optimistic glow. Altogether, it's friendlier and more fun that the last two releases; it might be Dylan's most 'personable' album since, well, 'Another Side...' or 'Self-Portrait.
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208 of 239 people found the following review helpful By John on August 31, 2006
Format: Audio CD
In his latest Rolling Stone interview, Bob Dylan was quoted as saying "This is the best band I've ever been in, I've ever had, man for man." Quite a compliment coming from someone who's been backed by not only the best session men of the sixties, but The Grateful Dead, The Heartbreakers, and of course The Band. However, after listening to `Modern Times' and `Love and Theft' it really is hard to argue with him. He not only has found a band that can lay down an interesting backdrop to his at times epic poem-like lyrics, but create such good music that it stands up against Dylan's brilliant lyrics as an almost equal competitor for your attention.

Instantly the high level of musicianship is evident on "Thunder on the Mountain". It opens with short punctuated drum fills that bring to mind Cream's "White Room" but instead of Clapton's psychedelic phase, the guitar sound throughout is more in the style of someone like Chet Atkins playing twelve bar blues. Dylan's first line is introduced with a brilliant cymbal wash that sounds like it could be the rock n' roll equivalent of a gong being banged before Confucius speaks. But that first line "Thunder on the mountain and a fire in the moon/the river's in the alley and the sun will be consumed" sounds more like John the Revelator.

"Rollin' and Tumblin' is basically a really great cover of the Muddy Waters classic from 1950. Dylan leaves the chorus as is, but writes completely new verses all his own (certainly the original didn't contain the line about how "some young, lazy slut has charmed away my brains").
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***** Modern Times Clips
The clips were posted by mistake on Sony's site; 30 second clips of each song on the CD. They've been taken down by Sony, but not before they were placed online in a couple of other places. Try this link:

(No guarantee it'll still be there, but it was... Read More
Jul 27, 2006 by M. B. Walker |  See all 4 posts
Dylan - Is he living in modern times?
He hasn't really done that since "As good As I've been to you" and "World Gone Wrong" and both were genre focused albums.
Jul 12, 2006 by choiceweb0pen0 |  See all 8 posts
with DVD?
There are 2 versions of "Modern Times" being released -- one with dvd and one without. Amazon has both versions for pre-sale (the dvd version costs $6 more). The dvd contains clips for 4 songs -- all from previous Dylan releases.
Jul 19, 2006 by C. W. Kaylor |  See all 2 posts
New Album completes the trilogy!
Glad to hear it -- especially when you dropped the "G"-Bomb so early and put us all on tinderhooks. Dylan's the genuine article, rare these days.
Aug 28, 2006 by wordnat |  See all 2 posts
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