After 50 years of making music, Bob Dylan has created 35 studio albums, 13 live albums and 58 singles. He’s also earned 11 Grammy Awards, one Academy Award, one Golden Globe, a spot in the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame, membership of the Songwriters Hall of Fame and a Presidential Medal of Freedom. These are just a few of the accomplishments singer songwriter Bob Dylan has received throughout his career.
Dylan has found a way to reinvent himself yet again with his 35th studio album, “Tempest.”
Being curious myself, I looked up the definition of a tempest and found it is a violent windstorm, one that usually includes rain, hail or snow.
That is exactly what this album is. It starts off with one mood and takes you through a wide relm of emotions.
This may be because Dylan created this album with a work-as-you-go philosophy, he told Rolling Stone in their Aug. 16 issue.
“Anything goes and you just gotta believe it will make sense,” he said.
The title also brought controversy for fans who drew a connection with Shakespeare’s last play, “The Tempest.”
Fans and music enthusiasts alike were concerned this would be the last album for the 71-year-old music veteran.
Dylan shook off the accusation by telling Rolling Stone, “Shakespeare’s last play was called ‘The Tempest’. It wasn’t just called plain ‘Tempest.’ The name is just plain ‘Tempest.’ It’s two different styles.”
The title track of the album, “Tempest,” features a 14-minute track of a story about the Titanic. At one point in the song he even mentions a scene from James Cameron’s 1997 film about the sinking ship.
“Leo took his sketch book/He was often so inclinded/He closed his eyes and painted/The scenery in his mind.”
It is definitely one of the most memorable songs on the album. It describes the accident in a historic point of view that paints the story for the listener.
“Lights down in the hallway/Flickering dim and dull/Dead bodies already floating/In the devil bottom hall.”
“People are going to say, ‘Well, it’s not very truthful,’ Dylan said. “But a songwriter doesn’t care about what’s truthful. What he cares about is what should’ve happened, what could’ve happenned.”
Dylan has already received some criticism for the violence in the music video for his first single “Duquesne Whistle.”
The video follows a young man who, in turn, follows a young girl around a rural city. It starts off innocently but takes a darker turn when the young man is arrested for stealing after being chased by the cops themselves.
During the video the main character repeatedly gets beaten and abused.
Throughout the video Dylan makes appearances rounding street corners with what appears to be a posse by his side.
The video, however, just helps to illustrate what the song is about; a song about love that can tear you apart.
“You’re the only thing alive that keeps me going/You’re like a time bomb in my heart.”
A noteable song on the record is the final track, “Roll on John” which pays tribute to the late John Lennon, a good friend of Dylan’s.
“He turned around and he slowly walked away/They shot him in the back and down he went/Shining above moving on/You burn so bright/Roll on John.”
In the song, Dylan samples lyrics from songs Lennon composed including the song, “A Day in the Life.”
“I heard the news today, oh boy,” is an example of the lyrics he sampled.
Even though this album will not be released until next week, I already know it will go in my book as one of my all time favorite albums right next to “Blonde on Blonde” and “Highway 61 Revisited.”
Review by Savannah Sawyer, Assistant Features Editor.