TEMPEST!

It’s impossible to describe how excited I was this morning when news broke of Bob Dylan’s new studio album getting an official release date and title. It swept me up from the doldrums and had dopamine levels increasing. There were heavy rumors of a September release which is already a stacked month for new albums (The Avett Brothers, The Killers, Muse, Mumford & Sons, Green Day, Band of Horses) and now we know that for a fact on September 11th Dylan will release his 35th studio album entitled Tempest…

It may be too early to read into details, but judging by just the title alone it has the potential to be another latter-day masterpiece in Dylan’s  unmatched canon. The dictionary describes ‘Tempest’ as:

“1. a violent windstorm, especially one with rain, hail, or snow.
2. a violent commotion, disturbance, or tumult.”

When it comes to apocalyptic visions and doomsday prophecies, no one does it better than Dylan. No one comes close. I already covered this more extensively in the previous post but this could be yet another timeless record to add to Dylan’s staggering run in the past 15 years. Even just looking at the tracklist and some of the song titles has me salivating as well. The previous rumor of a 14-minute song about the Titanic seems to now be confirmed as the epic tale will be the title track. There’s also buzz of a John Lennon tribute song, the final song titled, “Roll on John”. Here’s the rest of the tracklist:

1. Duquesne Whistle

2. Soon After Midnight

3. Narrow Way

4. Long and Wasted Years

5. Pay In Blood

6. Scarlet Town

7. Early Roman Kings

8. Tin Angel

9. Tempest

10. Roll On John

Bob’s sure to immediately contend for album of the year upon the release of Tempest and there’s even been rumblings in the industry of people that have heard the album that it is Dylan’s best “For quite sometime”. What the hell does that mean!? I cannot even fathom it being better than “Love & Theft” or Modern Times as I believe those to be his best albums since Blood on the Tracks (Time Out Of Mind is nipping at their heels). But my God, if it is? Okay that’s enough gushing admiration for Dylan and his new record for now, but damn it sounds promising. Excited for September for sure.

On other music frontiers, as of last night another record has risen to the challenge to battle for the prestigious Matt Ireland #1 Record Of The Year, Handwritten by The Gaslight Anthem. It isn’t officially released in the U.S. until next Tuesday (7/24) but I’ve streamed it about five times now on NPR.org, and it only gets better with each listen. I don’t think it will reach the lofty heights of their break-through smash of The ’59 Sound but it’s a close second place. I discussed this with a buddy earlier today and what’s mind-bending about The Gaslight Anthem is that they haven’t released a single bad song on their first four records. That is an amazing feat for sure. At this point it’s a three horse race for #1 with everyone else trailing distantly. Not a knock on the other records of 2012, that’s just how good these three are. The three at the top are Bruce Springsteen’s Wrecking Ball, Japandroids’ Celebration Rock and the aforementioned Handwritten. I’d say Wrecking Ball  is still #1 at this moment, but this Gaslight Anthem record came to dance. Competition is a good thing and no matter who comes out on top at the end of the year, the fans will win for sure.

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