sábado, 18 de agosto de 2012

Tempest is coming...

Pois é, meus amigos Dylanescos. Tem novo álbum do velho Dylan no forno... Tempest, novo rebento do bardo, chega às lojas (pelo menos lá pras bandas dos EUA) no próximo 11 de setembro. Como todos já sabem, uma das músicas do novo disco já foi amplamente divulgada no You Tube. Trata-se de 'Early Roman Kings', que pode ser conferida neste link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=KawJXM64xrQ e, ao contrário do que muitos possam pensar, não faz referências aos antigos reis romanos, mas sim a uma das gangues de rua de Nova York, do final do século XIX.

O disco foi produzido pelo próprio Dylan sob o pseudônimo Jack Frost e foi gravado em Los Angeles, com a banda que se apresenta com o músico em turnê: o baixista Tony Garnier; o baterista George G. Receli; os guitarristas Donnie Herron, Charlie Sexton e Stu Kimball; além da participação do guitarrista dos Los Lobos, David Hidalgo, que já havia tocado no disco de 2009 de Bob Dylan, Together Through Life, na guitarra, no violino e no acordeão. A faixa-título, de quase 14 minutos de duração, fala sobre o desastre do Titanic e cita até mesmo o ator Leonardo DiCaprio.

Por estes dias, um trechinho de outra canção de Tempest, vazou na internet. 'Scarlet Town' também já foi parar no tubo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r6UM3XgeLfo

Ao mesmo tempo, começaram a surgir as primeiras resenhas do novo álbum. No fórum de discussões do site Expecting Rain, um fã argentino fez uma belíssima compilação daquilo que já foi publicado sobre o 'track list' de Tempest, que segue reproduzida abaixo, em inglês:

1. Duquesne Whistle
[LA Times] The folky sound of old-time country blues guitar licks quietly unfurl before the full band explodes into a driving big-beat rhythm as rollicking as the train ride the song explores. It also signals perhaps a greater focus on musical arrangements than Dylan fans have been accustomed to, with melodic flourishes and sharp rhythmic breaks accompanying his metaphor-heavy lyrics in a song that sounds apocalyptic and hopeful at once.
[Guardian] Tempest opens with the jaunty Duquesne Whistle, something like a more rambunctious Nashville Skyline Rag from the 1969 album. Complete with jamming organ and slick guitar licks (shades of Charlie Christian?), the whistle threatens "to blow my blues away".
[Mojo] It starts like some Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys' 1930s Western Swing thing, like an old song emanating from ancient radio ether, reminding us of Dylan's love for the roots of American music. But after a verse, it hits ramming speed, kicking into a ferocious romping rocker propelled by Tony Garnier's walking bass. The conceit belongs to that grand tradition of long gone train line songs (think City Of New Orleans), representing older, more soulful values that get lost when progress mows down everything in its path. "Listen to that Duquesne whistle blow/Sounds like it's on a final run." A helluva an opener.

2. Soon After Midnight
[RS] The doleful "Soon After Midnight" seems to be about love but may in fact be about revenge.
[Billboard] "Soon After Midnight" is a bluesy doo-wop that echoes the Rays' "Silhouettes" and a bit of Santo & Johnny's "Sleepwalk" in an instrumental break.
[Guardian] It's a mood sustained in the gentle Soon After Midnight – "it's soon after midnight and I've got date with the fairy queen … and I don't want nobody but you" – on which some of Dylan's phrasing recalled for me the feeling of Under the Red Sky, the title track on the 1990 album.
[Telegraph] “I’m searching for phrases to sing your praises,” croons Bob Dylan on Soon After Midnight. [What sounds at first like a gentle country love song contains the admission “My heart is fearful / It’s never cheerful / I’ve been down on the killing floor” and concludes with the threat to drag the corpse of somebody called Two Timing Tim “through the mud”.]
[Mojo] At first one thinks this slow strut is a simple nocturne, a night owl's paean. But as the narrator moves through the moonlight, his multiple women become "harlots" and meet horrific ends. Bob The Ripper? As usual, nothing is revealed, only inferred. Wicked - even evil - delight.

3. Narrow Way
[Billboard] "Narrow Way" is a seven and a half minute riff-driven tune that straddles country and blues.
[Guardian] Narrow Way does carry notes of foreboding, heightened by a line about the British burning down the White House, but since when can you hear Bob Dylan singing about a having "a heavy stacked woman with a smile on her face" and not laugh, too?
[Telegraph] On the Muddy Waters style, harmonica-driven blues of Narrow Way, Dylan declares “this is a hard country to stay alive in / I’m armed to the hilt.”
[Mojo] A jump blues 'bout wimmin troubles. The put-down artist who sang "You're an idiot, babe/It's a wonder that you still know how to breathe," now scorns his lady with a withering "Even death has washed its hands of you." Best couplet: "I'm still hurting from an arrow that pierced my chest/I'm gonna have to take my head and bury it between your breasts."

4. Long and Wasted Years
[Uncut] The reflective mood of several other tracks, including stand-outs “Soon After Midnight”, “Long And Wasted Years” and “Pay in Blood” will no doubt recall for some the sombre cast of “Not Dark Yet”
[Mojo] A gorgeous ballad in which the protagonist apologises to his love for hurting her feelings. He admits he wears shades to hide his eyes because "There are secrets in them that I can't disguise" and in one line explains decades of Dylan photos.

5. Pay in Blood
[RS] The vengeful "Pay in Blood" has Dylan darkly repeating, "I pay in blood, but not my own."
[Billboard] The bite of Warren Zevon comes out in "Pay in Blood," the chorus of which ends with the gripping line "I pay in blood/but not my own."
[Guardian] The darkness does finally start to descend with the gospel-influenced Pay in Blood ("I pay in blood … but not my own" ).
[Mojo] A swaggering, threatening, don't-x-with-me and the second Tempest song where Bob plays the fiend. "Legs and arms and body and bone/I pay in blood but not my own."

6. Scarlet Town
[LA Times] There’s an ominous and mysterious tone to “Scarlet Town,” which adds another batch of colorfully named characters to the roster of Dylan song habitues: Uncle Tom, Uncle Bill, Sweet William, Mistress Mary and Little Boy Blue turn up on the streets of Scarlet Town.
[Billboard] Another song from the new album, "Scarlet Town" will play over the end credits of the first two episodes, which air Aug. 17. "Scarlet Town," rooted in English folk with banjo, acoustic guitar, fiddle and drums providing the accompaniment, plays out as a tale of doom, fate and potential redemption.
[Guardian] Scarlet Town – which is the setting for the Child Ballad Barbara Allen that Dylan has sung throughout his career.
[Mojo] We're in Masked and Anonymous territory here, Twenty-Worst Century amorality, where "the end is near," with "the evil and the good living side-by-side" and where "all human forms seem glorified." Perhaps he's referring to the Internet. A loping finger-pointer with a nice slow banjo plucked by Donnie Herron.

7. Early Roman Kings
[Billboard] A 12-bar blues that features David Hidalgo of Los Lobos on accordion.
[Telegraph] The throwaway blues of Early Roman Kings.
[Mojo] The only Tempest tune that's been officially YouTubed. As he's done in disparate songs from Bob Dylan's 115th Dream to Isis, the author erases boundaries between historical and mythical epochs and collapses time into Bobworld. Is this about Romulus? If so, he's wearing a sharkskin suit and there's talk of "ding dong daddies" and "Sicilian courts," all set to a Mannish Boy musical template.

8. Tin Angel
[RS] "Tin Angel" is a devastating tale of a man in search of his lost love.
[LA Times] The nine-minute “Tin Angel,” a remarkably straightforward ballad of romantic betrayal and retribution.
[Guardian] The slow-burning Tin Angel.
[Mojo] Full of betrayal and more pierced hearts, this is where Tempest sets up the first of the 1-2-3 punch of epic songs that close out the album. Ultra-violent, Shakespearean imagery in a description of a doomed love triangle that literally goes up in flames. To quote another rock poet, no one here gets out alive.

‎9. Tempest
[Uncut] The title track alone taking up a fair chunk of that, with verse following verse in a manner that might remind you of “Desolation Row”. The album’s title track, meanwhile, is a 14-minute epic that revolves around the sinking of The Titanic.
[RS] The title track is a nearly 14-minute depiction of the Titanic disaster. Numerous folk and gospel songs gave accounts of the event, including the Carter Family's "The Titanic," which Dylan drew from. "I was just fooling with that one night," he says. "I liked that melody – I liked it a lot. 'Maybe I'm gonna appropriate this melody.' But where would I go with it?" Elements of Dylan's vision of the Titanic are familiar – historical figures, the inescapable finality. But it's not all grounded in fact: The ship's decks are places of madness ("Brother rose up against brother. They fought and slaughtered each other"), and even Leonardo DiCaprio appears. ("Yeah, Leo," says Dylan. "I don't think the song would be the same without him. Or the movie.").
[LA Times] The devastating title track, a 14-minute epic that relates the history of the Titanic with greater power than James Cameron’s overstuffed film.
“Tempest,” couched as an old country waltz, finds Dylan (as he also does in “Tin Angel”) almost entirely avoiding the oblique imagery and playful metaphor on which he built his reputation as rock’s greatest songwriter, instead keeping his lyrics firmly planted on the ground -- or, in this case, in the frigid waters of the North Atlantic in 1912.
Yet every one of the song’s 45 verses still packs a punch. Here's one sample:
Mothers and their daughters
Descending down the stairs
Jumped into the icy waters
Love and pity sent their prayers
[Billboard] The song that will get the most attention though is the nearly 14-minute title track track. "Tempest," 45 verses written in accentual-syllabic verse with no chorus, is set aboard the Titanic, with characters ranging from an artist named Leo -- DiCaprio, one might assume -- to Jim Dandy, who hands over a chance at survival to youngster.
[Guardian] The title track, which lasts almost 14-minutes and tells the story of the sinking of the Titanic over the course of 45 verses. This last is a subject Dylan has touched on previously (in a line on Desolation Row), while several blues and folk songs have tackled it – Richard "Rabbit" Brown's Sinking of the Titanic and the Carter Family's The Titanic among them. Dylan told Rolling Stone his song evolved from fooling around with the melody to the latter, but what we end up with is something on a bigger scale. And just as the 16-minute Highlands from Time Out of Mind namechecked Neil Young and Erica Young, it's Leonardo DiCaprio who gets a mention here, among a cavalcade of characters.
[Mojo] The almost-14 minute title track about the sinking of the Titanic. The lords and ladies within initially dance before ending up as floating corpses. There's a character named Leo with a sketchbook, echoing the Hollywood version as well as history's. Some folks "slaughter" each other over lifeboat space, others perform great acts of heroism - a microcosm of humanity. And a mysterious character called "The Watchman" repeatedly dreams of the disaster and tries to save the victims. Is he on or off the ship? Is he contemporaneous or does he exist now? We're not told, adding to the surreal nightmare.

10. Roll On John
[Uncut] “Roll On John”, the album’s closing track, a wistful tribute to John Lennon that quotes lines from several Beatles songs, including “Come Together” and “A Day In The Life”.
[RS] Tenderness finally seals Tempest, in "Roll On, John," Dylan's heartfelt tribute to his friend John Lennon.
[LA Times] A 7 1/2-minute benediction directed at John Lennon, invoking several snippets of lyrics from the late Beatle’s songs.
[Billboard] The album's final track is a tribute to John Lennon, "Roll on John." In one verse Dylan references the Beatles songs "Come Together," Ballad of John and Yoko" and "Slow Down"; elsewhere on the ballad he combines the metaphysical with the historical.
[Guardian] Then finally, there's Roll on John, which digs back into the blues and into William Blake to tell part of the story of John Lennon; it's warm, mysterious and moving – and an excuse to dig out that famous footage of the pair in London taxi cab – with Dylan at one point singing: "I heard the news today, oh boy!" In terms of the Dylan canon, does it bring to mind the crepuscular menace of Not Dark Yet?. Perhaps it's more Forever Young.
[Telegraph] The album’s beautiful, surprising conclusion, Roll On John, is almost out of character, a shaggy, loose piano and organ lament for one of rock’s great dreamers, John Lennon. Dylan sings to his lost friend “your bones are weary, you’re about to breath your last / Lord you know how hard that bit can be” before breaking into an elegiac, bittersweet chorus (“Shine a light / Move it on / You burned so bright / Roll on John”).
[Mojo] And in the end, pretty much a blow-by-blow account of the murder of Dylan's friend John Lennon. Bob imagines the physical experience of dying that John endured in his final moments, down to "breathing his last." Terribly sad, terribly moving, and appropriate for all of us who consider Dylan and Lennon the titans of rock 'n' roll artistry - once two very stoned young pals in the back of a limo having too much fun. "You burned so bright/Roll on John."
Como os amigos puderam perceber, a maioria das críticas são extremamente positivas, o que só faz aumentar a ansiedade pelo tão aguardado lançamento. Dêem uma olhada na maneira como Michael Simmons encerra a resenha para a Mojo Magazine: "50 years after the release of his first album, Dylan remains our foremost storyteller. Thanks Bob."

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