Tuesday September 18, 2001
Love and Theft
No one ever asked for more from Bob Dylan.
After 42 albums, decades of touring and an incalculable influence on rock and popular culture, no one was tapping Dylan on the shoulder saying, "Hey Bob, you should probably make at least one more record. You know, if you want to be a legend."
But Bob did not just release another album of brilliantly crafted original music. He released another masterpiece that not only proves he is a well-established legend, but he still knows how to "shake the sugar down."
Love and Theft comes four years after his previous album, the Grammy award-winning Time out of Mind. The two albums can be viewed as a pair. Whereas Time out of Mind expresses Dylan's dark, pensive and love-torn side, the new album showcases Dylan's playful and whimsical side.
Love and Theft features songs such as "Mississippi," which will most certainly be placed on the shelf with "Tambourine Man," "Tangled up in Blue" and "Visions of Johanna" as one of Dylan's greatest accomplishments. The album is rich in the very things that keep Dylan fans coming back for more - undeniable lyrical mastery, solid instrumental support and a sense that you are hearing the poetic voice of whatever age you're in.
Dylan seems to be returning to his younger, more carefree days in this album. Or maybe he's returning to a carefree youth that his prodigy had forced him to skip. Don't get me wrong - this album isn't without the wisdom we have been accustomed to hear from Dylan. It's there, Dylan can't help it - it's in every line that he writes.