I hadn't planned to say anything about Bob Dylan’s Modern Times; what would be the point, with all those words already flyin’ about the æther? But then Neddie went and posted a fine item on the structure of songs, and I felt I had to. Actually, it isn’t only about the structure of songs. It’s about the whole notion of Going Forth and Returning, and he merely uses that aspect of songs to get into a riff on the War on Terror. But along the way he talks about musical archetypes, and that’s what Bob delivers. Almost every tune is at once both vaguely familiar and utterly new. As on Love and Theft, you feel you’ve heard them before. You can hum along right out of the box. The downside is that it is tempting to have them on as background music, where they work just fine. But then, of course, you don’t really listen. Sometimes (often?) that doesn't matter, but don’t let it become a habit, because the whole point is to listen to what he is doing with the words.

My rating: 5 out of 5

I guess the same goes for all those old-timey flavours of music, where you absolutely know the way the melody is going to go, if not in detail then at least in broad strokes. Which is also why Bruce Springsteen's We Shall Overcome is such unalloyed pleasure. The words are less important, maybe because they are so much less intense, but there’s still something new and thrilling about the way Bruce deals with a song like John Henry.

My rating: 5 out of 5

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