Why “Together Through Life” Didn’t Make The Cut

Since Time Out Of Mind more than a decade ago, there hasn’t been a year that Dylan has released an album and not had it make the Tulip Frenzy Top Ten List.  In fact, last year’s Tell Tale Signs was #1, and it comprised mostly alternative cuts of songs that had long since been released.

Together Through Life had some great moments — “Beyond Here Lies Nothin'” and “Forgetful Heart” in particular — but there was something ultimately dispiriting about having Dylan release an album in which several songs were rewritten off the frames stretched by Elmore Leonard or Willie Dixon.  Yes, sure, Modern Times owed and presumably paid royalties to Muddy Waters’ estate.  By this time, though, the act is old, unlike Dylan, the youngest person ever to record more than 50 albums.

We stand second to none in our reverence for the Living Master.  Yet somehow this year we enjoyed Dylan’s interviews with Bill Flanagan more than we enjoyed the actual music he produced.  And the Christmas album?  Please.

We have high hopes for 2010.

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