I would fain die a dry death


Could this be the last time? The customary intrigue that surrounds the arrival of a new Bob Dylan studio album – and this is his 35th – was stirred by its title: Tempest. Given that The Tempest was Shakespeare’s final play, and we know that Dylan is a student of the Bard, could this be the 71-year-old artist’s way of telling us that with this record he’s calling it quits? Dylan himself has appeared to pooh-pooh the question, telling Rolling Stone last week: “Shakespeare’s last play was called The Tempest. It wasn’t called just plain Tempest. The name of my record is just plain Tempest. It’s two different titles.” Nonetheless, that same report called the album “dark”; according to the LA Times “a darkness has replaced the instrumental interludes, buoyancy and lightness of his last three albums”; while Billboard in the US said that “death … is a dominant subject on Tempest”.

more from Caspar Llewellyn Smith at The Guardian here.