Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Time Out of Mind

Time Out of Mind is one of the greatest albums I've ever heard.  Bob Dylan has made lots of albums (34 studio albums alone) but I think this is his best.  It's not his most popular, but it's one of my favorite albums of any artist, anytime.

I listened to it the other day and I realized all over again why I love it.  To me, it's a perfect mixture of depressing realizations and glimmers of hoped all mixd with dramatic, yet soft melodies.  It's a window into the singer's state of mind.  The singer is at a crossroads:  does he pursue his unrequited love or does he journey into the cold and unknown world to search for someone else.  It's a wonderful mix of love and hate, but not angry hate or mushy love, but love and hate in the mind of a rational and controlled person.  He's not young enough to yell or write bad love songs, but he's not ready to be alone.  The singer is completely and totally lost at this point in his life and he is trying to find a way to go on…trying to figure out what the next step is.

Bob Dylan is, rightfully so, a legend in his own time.  He's one of the greatest musicians ever and people who disagree have no idea what they are talking about.  He's not a novelty act like some artists from the 60s, but continues to push himself creatively with every album and with every live show.  This album, to me, makes Bob Dylan a real person and not some idol on high who has everything figured out.  In Time Out of Mind, he's a confused man who isn't ready to give up the past, but knows he has to face the uncertain future.


Go buy it and listen to it.  Then listen to it again.  You'll thank me later.

8 comments:

lordmonboddo said...

I agree this is a great album but wonder how someone can have such a wire into someone elses mind?Has every thing that comes out his mouth got a meaning other than what he says?

Anonymous said...

what a bunch of platitudes & cliches...what's the point & why even bother?...this has all been said before,in other forums & in a more articulate way...

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous,

Thank you for your wonderful contribution to the land of the stupid. You must feel better in yourself already.

Anonymous said...

TOOM is a classic. It's not my favorite Dylan album - that would be "Love & Theft" - but it's a close second.

DylanYoung said...

When I first bought Time Out Of Mind I gave it a couple of listens then put it away. Then years later I discovered it and played it for weeks and weeks - great album! Never got into Love & Theft. Love Modern Times thou, one of his best.

David said...

I have to admit that Time Out of Mind has taken me dozens of listens to really appreciate and it still is a very Jekyll and Hyde album for me. Sometimes I listen to it and think its brilliant, other times I listen to it and think it's got a few good songs but many dull parts and that the endlessly looping murky instrumentals from the band are just plain frustrating. I think TOOM is definitely a step below "Love and Theft", an album I consider to be one of Dylans all time greats. The band alone is worth listening to it. The dueling guitar parts and brilliant rhythm section is just plain stunning. Not to mention its recorded almost completely live without overdubs which I greatly prefer to Lanois's moody, muddy, inarticulate production on TOOM.

With the exceptions of "Tryin' To Get To Heaven", "Not Dark Yet", and "Cold Irons Bound", those three I could listen to anytime.

Anonymous said...

I agree Time Out of Mind is the best Dylan album. Of course 60's albums are all great, but TOM is extraordinary, it is a mature-and-wise person's view of life, where almost every line is a piece of golden wisdom. Somebody said every line might be a separate poem/song for itself. It is great picture showing man's life experience who is aware of life transience at the same time. The best line for me, Dylan ever wrote, is definitely a line from Not Dark Yet - I was born here and I'll die here, against my will - a line so deep that you ask yourself - what is a life and what is a point of life after all.

Anonymous said...

The best line Dylan ever wrote???!

"I was born here and I'll die here against my will"

That's it??? You can't be serious...
You didn't even include the second part of the couplet:

"I know it looks like I'm moving, but I'm standing still"

So that line is better than:

"Twas in another lifetime, one of toil and blood, when blackness was a virtue, the road was full of mud. I came in from the wilderness, a creature void of form. Come in, she said, I'll give you, shelter from the storm"

Easily one of the greatest opening lines to a song ever. With...

"Ain't it just like the night to play tricks when you're trying to be so quiet"

OR

"The ghost of electricity howls in the bones of her face"
which could be the most evocative lyric ever.

I could go on and on but I think you get my point I wouldn't even put I was born here... in Dylans top 50 lyrics.