Modern Times - Bob Dylan
Metascore
89

Universal acclaim - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 29
  2. Negative: 0 out of 29
  1. 100
    Love And Theft was quite unlike any other pop album--apart, that is, from Modern Times, its direct and audacious sequel. [Sep 2006, p.72]
  2. His third straight masterwork. [7 Sep 2006, p.99]
  3. Perversion packed with allusions -- forgotten titles, purloined and paraphrased sources, pilfered public records and archives. This is what steeps the songs in American history instead of planting them in psycho wards, clinics, and retirement homes.
  4. Modern Times may not contain a single song that would rank among Dylan's all-time best, but it doesn't have to.
  5. Now, more than at any time since his first few folk albums, he sounds like a traditionalist. He's walking down that same road that Sonny and Cisco and Leadbelly walked down.
  6. The entire construction is a thing of grace -- conservative, and new under the sun.
  7. Intriguing, immediate, and quietly epic, Modern Times must rank among Dylan's finest albums.
  8. The slow-building atmospherics of Dylan's 1997 comeback album have given way to some of the most immediately accessible tunes in his catalog.
  9. 90
    It radiates the observant calm of old masters who have seen enough life to be ready for anything--Yeats, Matisse, Sonny Rollins. [Sep 2006, p.139]
  10. What makes the music so compelling is not its frame of reference... but the flair and originality with which it's put across. [Sep 2006, p.70]
  11. Might be the most upbeat feel-bad album of 2006.
  12. This swinging, sometimes mournful, often tender set of 10 songs proves an easy album to, well, love. [25 Aug 2006]
  13. Modern Times is a record of both giddy songwriting peaks and overall uniformity, a record whose music ultimately delivers and enriches its well-bred messages of realism and religion, work and devotion, the certitude of decay and the decay of certitude.
  14. The biggest disappointment here is that Modern Times is probably Dylan's least-surprising release in decades-- it's the logical continuation of its predecessor, created with the same band he's been touring with for years, fed from familiar influences, and sprinkled with all the droll, anachronistic bits now long-expected.
  15. "Modern Times" offers further evidence that this man remains more than capable of greatness.
  16. One of 2006’s great works. [#15]
  17. Here Dylan has written a great part and acts it out beautifully. And, as usual, everything is out in the open but nothing, absolutely nothing, is revealed.
  18. 80
    Crudely put, it is the sequel to Love And Theft, which is to say that a great deal of it is split between 12-bar treatises about love and lust and croonsome ballads about much the same themes.... That said, it is not quite as sharply focused as that record. [Oct 2006, p.94]
  19. While he has never sounded quite so full of empathy, this is a grumpy old record. [Oct 2006, p.114]
  20. It's hard to hear Modern Times' music over the inevitable standing ovation and the thuds of middle-aged critics swooning in awe. When you do, you find something not unlike its predecessor, Love and Theft.
  21. If Time Out of Mind is the weathered, death-obsessed uncle who drinks too much and broods over things unchangeable and distant, and Love and Theft is the rakish cad gleefully dancing on the edge of the apocalypse, then Times is Theft’s clean-shaven, less-interesting brother, with a bit of schooling under his belt and a professional spit-and-polish finish.
  22. This enchanting album is rife with homespun reflections on philosophy, religion and the never-ending quest for true love.
  23. Some of the songs are two minutes too long and the album is sometimes so breezy it nearly dissolves, but Dylan’s lyrics are in top form and his band is impeccable.
  24. Dylan's voice is the star. [26 Aug 2006, p.43]
  25. Overlong as they are, these are beautifully recorded tracks: unadorned, antiquated, intimate.
  26. The veteran singer-songwriter has opted to retreat into old-timey blues, rattling off clichés about blind horses and hog-eyed towns while laying down a halfhearted soundtrack of brushed drums, plucked guitars and woozy strings.
  27. It’s an intriguing and thoughtful and occasionally lively record, but it’s not the rollicking, randy good time some folks would lead you to believe.
  28. Whereas Chaplin's sharply drawn social comment is rightly considered a modern classic, Dylan's Modern Times -- sung in a strangely affected croak you'd expect to hear from Leon Redbone's grandfather -- comes off like a feeble anachronism in which our man cynically attempts to pass off public-domain blues and folk tunes as his own by changing a few words.
User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 263 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 17 out of 160
  1. dave
    Dec 26, 2006
    5
    Dylan has some amazing albums and for critics to give this anything close to a 10 it degrades his truly remarkabe work
  2. Jan 29, 2014
    9
    An accessible record with master class song-writing, Dylan has never failed at writing a great song. His vocals are painfully gruff, and commands your attention with each track. It's a patient listen, took me a few times to really feel it, and delve my way through each track.

    All In All, Modern Times is a great record, and another one of Dylan's masterpieces. A-
    Full Review »
  3. Aug 2, 2013
    10
    The best Dylan album of the 2000s and possibly the best of his career so far. I prefer listening to it on vinyl, Spirit on the Water sounds a completely different song when on vinyl. Full Review »