Review by LarryG|
4 stars out of 4
It's Dylan's best record in more than 20 years. Song after song has the
feel of an unearthed blues gem. On first listen, it's a surprise that
each is a Dylan composition rather than a rediscovered classic. Time Out
of Mind could teach a lesson to some of today's young musicians who
work so hard to show their blues cred. For Dylan, it seems to come
easily. Dylan's goal seems to have been: simplify. It works to amazing
effect. Producer/guitarist Daniel Lanois creates the perfect stark, spare
soundscape for the simple beauty of songs like Not Dark Yet. Dylan strips
away his trademark mannerisms and eccentricities to a world weary voice.
The songs are deliberate. Dylan has seen and experienced enough that
he's not rushing to the next event; he's content to savor a great moment.
Yet in his singing and the band's playing, the passion is clear. The idea
of Dylan facing his mortality comes up frequently, most notably when he
sings about "trying to get to heaven before they close the door"
but the general tone is far from resigned. Even though he sings about
being sick of love, Dylan still clearly likes the struggle of dealing
with the opposite sex whether on the down and dirty Till I Fell In Love
With You or the heartfelt Make You Feel My Love. The songs have an
archetypal, timeless quality that invites future reinterpretations. Dylan
has already mussed up the songs live and the songs are strong enough to
stand up to continued reinvention.
Here's what others reviewers have to say:
quot;...TIME's perspective is that of an outsider speaking to an absent
confidant....a more fully realized version of OH MERCY....Dylan has made
a coherent, sonically striking but equally subdued ensemble album..."
4 Stars (out of 5) Rolling Stone 10/2/97, pp.53-54
"...the whole shebang is pretty terrific, stuffed with the fun
freedom of train-song rhythms; swampy, organ-studded soul; boyish ballads;
and worn-out blues. Hearing them all, you get the sense of a loner's
road trip....These are the thoughts of a pilgrim, and he's headed to
the grave..." 9 (out of 10) Spin 12/97, p.154