09/12/12 - 0 Comments
Bob Dylan’s “Tempest”
Bob Dylan is the epitome of individualism—through his dynamic lyrics, his ironic comments and even through his own exceptionally nasal voice. So it’s no surprise that he was going to shock his fans with distinctly unique, yet scarily realistic tracks in his latest and 5th album, Tempest.
Dylan described to Rolling Stone Magazine that this is a collection of songs where “anything goes and you just gotta believe it will make sense.” Indeed, it makes all too much sense. Tempest has been noted as one of Dylan’s darkest albums in his collection. The title track, “Tempest,” is about the sinking of the Titanic, “Tin Angel” is about a three-way murder-suicide and the all-too-sad “Roll On, John,” is about the assassination of John Lennon, one of Dylan’s personal acquaintances.
Even the music video for one of his merrier tunes, “Duquesne Whistle,” is fiercely ominous. It tells the story of a man being stripped away from his lover, while being furiously beaten and kidnapped by a group in a suspiciously windowless van. After he is helplessly thrown to the ground, you can see Bob Dylan and his entourage walking by, and simply stepping over his unconscious form. All the while the song is playing in a blissful, ragtime, Louis Armstrong-esque manner.
Tempest, as mentioned above, is about the Titanic. “A songwriter doesn’t care about what’s truthful. What he cares about is what should’ve happened, what could’ve happened,” said Dylan of the 14-minute, 42-verse and very story-like song. “That is its own kind of truth.”
Critics have commented on the fact that Dylan may be using Shakespeare’s influence. The famous playwright’s final work was, after all, called The Tempest. Could this be a parallel, indicating that this could be Dylan’s end? Fifty years of brilliance and mystery ending on this depressing note? Dylan says no: “Shakespeare’s last play was called The Tempest. It wasn’t called just plain Tempest. The name of my record is plain Tempest. It’s two different titles.”
Well, that’s what he says, but it’s difficult to read the music industry’s most enigmatic man. We encourage you to take a peek at this record and let us know what you think. Dylan’s work is magical and we want to help spread the wonder. Tempest came out yesterday—buy it now digitally or in stores!