The Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, has given a rave review of Bob Dylan’s latest album ‘Tempest’. But in a very Italian way, it has also given the album a bad review. Two contrasting opinions side by side.
Giulia Galeotti says:
It’s like biting into a cake at the best pastry shop. The first bite is already promising, yet doesn’t give everything away, but biting on through the layers different flavours are discovered, the subtleness of the ingredients. The same goes for Bob Dylan’s work. With ‘Tempest’ there’s immediately a desire to dig below the surface…
The album, which shot straight to number three on the Billboard 200, contains a 14-minute song about the Titanic called Sad, Sad Story.
The folk ballad of almost 14 minutes on the sad, sad story of the great ship engulfed by seas sharp and clear, is an instant, and is infinite. The Titanic sank. Bob Dylan, absolutely not.
Colleague Giuseppe Fiorentino has other ideas:
He might not have sunk like the Titanic, but he can barely keep afloat, and is navigating blindfolded. When a song inspired by the wreck, repeats the same unchanging progression of notes for almost fourteen minutes, how could it be otherwise?
…But Dylan has a is so worshipped by critics and fans that this disc will surely acquire a cult following. In fairness, it should be said that like others of his generation, Dylan still strives to produce new work. But his intense, mature and dramatic voice could have been put to better use at the service of richer musical content.
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano’) about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman’s Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia’ column for Dancing Times magazine.