Any thoughts on the new Bob Dylan album?

"Together Through Life"? Thoughts? Comments?
Picked up the LP and enclosed the other.

Lyrically this might be lighter than Modern Times (I'll have to spend a bit more time with it), but I think it's a more enjoyable listen and it'll probably be spending more time on my turntable and I think I'll play it a fair bit in the car. The accordian works well and the record has a much more consistent blues feel to it than any of Dylan's later works which works very well with the "evolution" of his voice at this stage in his life. Bob has kind of become Howlin Wolf light.

On sound quality (LP) it's good but not great IMO; that may sound critical but I tend to buy older recordings which have not been digitally futzed with and am partial to the all analog sound. This record can get a bit murky at times-there seems to be a bit of sound quality variation from one track to the next. My side A is pressed horribly off centre (and I mean horribly)-don't know whether that has anything to do with sound quality on that side but it might. I find that I'm screwing around with the volume control a lot from song to song; about 3/4 sound pretty good, the rest are decent examples of the loudness wars.

I opened the record at the store after reading about poor quality control on the vinyl earlier in a thread at the Hoffman forums. My Modern Times was nothing special in terms of QC and Columbia has continued the tradition. Apart from the off centre pressing on the A side (which I couldn't really see at the dealer), there were a lot of scuff marks (but only on the surface so I didn't think they'd affect play) and the records were pretty liberally littered with crap and debris. One side even featured a fair bit of what looked like cigarette ash (the dealer joked that it was perhaps Bob's as he knew I'd be wet cleaning it anyway and I wouldn't be overly concerned unless there was something that would appear to be real groove damage).

While cleaning them I also noticed a pretty pronounced lip warp on one of the records-fortunately it doesn't really affect play as it isolated right on the lead in deadwax but I was worried when I first saw it. After a good cleaning, most of the scuffs and markings remain, but the record plays quietly, probably better than my Modern Times. Still, it does not instill confidence and this type of QC should be unacceptable in a $30-$40 record. I won't be returning it though, because the next one might be worse. Simply re-inforces my buying habits of about 90% used vs. 5-10% new though.

So a B- for vinyl quality control (it does play quietly after all) and a solid A- for the performance from Bob. Worth buying IMO and hopefully everyone buying a vinyl copy gets one that is at least as good as mine.

P.S. I've now done 3 complete revs of the record and also played the CD a bit in the car; it's really growing on me. 6-8 very strong songs.
Off topic somewhat but check out the interview with Dylan in Rolling Stone.

A good read.
Hdm: Thank you! I am so glad to find some music listeners here. Great information!

AudioFeil: I am going to look up the Dylan interview now. Thanks!
I have the deluxe CD version - some very fun stuff in the bonus disks - a CD of a radio show, and a DVD interview with a man who purports to have been Dylan's manager back in the Village and who is brought to tears recounting the story of discovering and placing Blowing In The Wind.

Like Hdm I need to spend more time with it before I get the full gestalt.

After 45 or 46 albums it's Dylan - some I like better then others. Band is phatter then its been other times, lyrics at first blush are as good as ever.
Love it.