Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - MUSIC -

BOB Dy­lan, the song­writer’s song­writer, dons his poet’s hat on his lat­est al­bum and of­fers blunt im­agery of a bru­tal world.

Dy­ing ain’t easy in Tem­pest with the brood­ing Scar­let Town or Tin An­gel’s evil de­scrip­tion of the end of a vi­o­lent fam­ily. In the cool rocker Pay in Blood, Dy­lan growls, “I pay in blood, but not my own.”

His older fans cringe when hear­ing the 71-year-old Dy­lan’s ag­ing voice, but his raspy snarl fits Tem­pest’s bleak themes per­fectly. Life is cruel, and the proof’s in the singing.

Mean­while, his tour­ing band, with help from Los Lo­bos’ David Hi­dalgo, pick funky grooves and stick with them for min­utes at a time, al­most play­ing back- ground mu­sic be­hind Dy­lan’s po­etry.

Dy­lan’s re­ceived plenty of hype for the fi­nal two songs on the al­bum. The ti­tle track is a 13:54 minute epic about the Ti­tanic sink­ing played to a Pogues-y Ir­ish beat, and Roll on John, an ode to his old pal John Len­non that, sadly, is not the great­est song here.

Dy­lan kicks off a fall tour with Mark Knopfler at the MTS Cen­tre on Oct. 5.

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