Modern Times

  • Record Label: Sony
  • Release Date: Aug 29, 2006
User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 266 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 19 out of 266

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  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. BronachJ
    Feb 26, 2007
    5
    No where near his best. Sounds laike a tribute to (the greast) J.J. and if I want to listen to J.J. Cale I buy his albums ..... Time Out Of Mind is much better
  3. JBN
    Sep 2, 2006
    6
    Everybody, please... GET A GRIP. Look, I love Bob Dylan's work as much as, maybe more than the next guy. A lot of the best songs ever written came from him... unfortunately, none of them are on this album. Sonically, it's basically 'nice'. The playing is smooth, his band is as good as ever, but frankly it's all quite predictable. He's made a career out of Everybody, please... GET A GRIP. Look, I love Bob Dylan's work as much as, maybe more than the next guy. A lot of the best songs ever written came from him... unfortunately, none of them are on this album. Sonically, it's basically 'nice'. The playing is smooth, his band is as good as ever, but frankly it's all quite predictable. He's made a career out of using references to old folk and blues music, and he's not about to change that. The difference is that in the past, he used to use those references to SAY something - be it something social, personal, poetic or otherwise. He's always surrounded himself with excellent musicians, but in the past they were there to back him up, to help him make the biggest impact - for me, the lyrics have always been the main attraction. That's exactly the problem. On Time Out Of Mind, he had something to say - he was reflecting on mortality, on love, on the world at large, and doing what he does best: giving new insights into these things, telling you something you didn't know, or making you think about things in a different way. Love & Theft had some nice songs on it too, but little in the way of genuine masterpieces. He sounded like he was having fun, and that was enough for the album to be a classic of sorts. Not so Modern Times. This is simply LAZY - there isn't a single song that seems to be really *about* anything - mainly he uses tired, cliched, recycled blues lyrics and idioms to basically say either "babe, I love you" or "my woman done me wrong", OVER and OVER again. Sure, Nettie Moore is quite enchanting, mostly due to an understated, moody backing by the band - but one can't help but think that songs like "Someday Baby" could have been real classics on a par with "Leopardskin Pillbox Hat" or "Outlaw Blues", in the hands of the Dylan of the past - the one who was vital, energetic, angry, vulgar, eloquent and beautiful. The Dylan we have now seems lazy, complacent and content to tread out the same old lines we've heard done - and done *better* - by a million old blues and folk singers. Still, it's a decent relaxed, foot-tapping front porch album... but let's face it, we expect more from the man who once revolutionised popular music and the art of songwriting. This is NOT a masterpiece, and NOT one of his best albums by a LONG shot - in fact it's not even one of the best blues albums released in recent years - check out Watermelon Slim for some old-timey blues with genuine vitality. Must try harder. Expand
  4. TBone
    Oct 2, 2006
    5
    Come on people. This is not a 10 in 2006. Times they are a changin and this don;t cut it. Clearly he's getting a big pass by the critics for being Bob Dylan. Working man blues? Has he ever really worked?
  5. samm
    Aug 29, 2006
    4
    This album is one of Dylan's weakest attempts. The production is incredibly sloppy, his vocals aren't as good as on L and T, and he even upsings. The songs ramble, many sound the same, lack of variety... just plain and simple, the songs are weak. Also, there is a lack of flow. It seems he rushed this album. And the band doesn't add much either, no pounding songs, as seen on This album is one of Dylan's weakest attempts. The production is incredibly sloppy, his vocals aren't as good as on L and T, and he even upsings. The songs ramble, many sound the same, lack of variety... just plain and simple, the songs are weak. Also, there is a lack of flow. It seems he rushed this album. And the band doesn't add much either, no pounding songs, as seen on L and T with Larry and Charlie. Nothing ever fully kicks into full gear. A very disapointing album after a 5 years wait. This album will be discarded by most. Expand
  6. CP
    Aug 30, 2006
    5
    Sounds particularly uninspired compared to his last two albums. The boring soft-shoe shuffle just doesn't equate with greatness for me. The closing track, "Ain't Talkin'," is possibly the album's finest moment but even that is practically forgettable. I will say this--it's a damn sight better than what any of his former living Wilbury bandmates are capable of Sounds particularly uninspired compared to his last two albums. The boring soft-shoe shuffle just doesn't equate with greatness for me. The closing track, "Ain't Talkin'," is possibly the album's finest moment but even that is practically forgettable. I will say this--it's a damn sight better than what any of his former living Wilbury bandmates are capable of these days (get it? Only two are left? And what dreadful album did they make this year?) Expand
  7. mcnutsmcnuts
    Sep 28, 2006
    6
    Yes, its good but seriously over rated. I don
  8. RichieD
    Dec 15, 2006
    6
    Not bad for a man in his eighties. Still better than anything his son has ever released. My third favorite Dylan record behind New Morning and Saved.
  9. PeterP
    Dec 6, 2006
    6
    As hard for me as it is to give Dylan anything less than a 10/10, i just really couldnt get into this album. It's just not the same Dylan I grew to love.
  10. HenryT
    Sep 28, 2006
    4
    People who rate this 10 are living in a fantasy world. His Bobness is a true living legend, no doubt, but there's nothing special here, 12 bar blues that ramble and roll but special it ain't. If this is 10 then what is Blonde on Blonde? Because Modern Times doesn't come within huey of his best recordings. There's one good track the others are just old an follk and People who rate this 10 are living in a fantasy world. His Bobness is a true living legend, no doubt, but there's nothing special here, 12 bar blues that ramble and roll but special it ain't. If this is 10 then what is Blonde on Blonde? Because Modern Times doesn't come within huey of his best recordings. There's one good track the others are just old an follk and blues stock soup. If that's what you're really after there's others that do this better. If you want 'rustic Bob' try 'Good as I've been to you', at least it has charm. Listen again without the rose glasses you'll find the number '4' pops up. Expand
  11. howdy
    Sep 8, 2006
    6
    This is an enjoyable Dylan album. A masterpiece it is not. I prefer Muddy Waters' take on Rollin' and Tumblin' to this "smooth blues" version. Too many of these songs suffer from flat arrangements and production; they are lacking in tension or drama. Many of the songs sound like the corniest moments of Love and Theft, e.g. the "Tweedle Dee." The band is a very pleasant This is an enjoyable Dylan album. A masterpiece it is not. I prefer Muddy Waters' take on Rollin' and Tumblin' to this "smooth blues" version. Too many of these songs suffer from flat arrangements and production; they are lacking in tension or drama. Many of the songs sound like the corniest moments of Love and Theft, e.g. the "Tweedle Dee." The band is a very pleasant Americana roots outfit, but where's the musical edge? While I like this album, I really don't understand the over-the-top reviews. For later period Dylan, I prefer Infidels, Time out of Mind, Oh Mercy and Love and Theft over this album. But those albums have some truly great songs. I still can't pick out one truly great song from this new album. Still like it, though. Expand
  12. TimC
    Mar 21, 2007
    6
    Lyrically, this is classic Dylan, spinning fascinating tales of the working class (even throwing in the proletariot!) but musically, the album is dead in the water. Dylan's road band come off sounding like a Vegas sidebar act, so smooth they're butter, and it makes it darn near impossible to listen to.
  13. KenS.
    Mar 1, 2008
    6
    Thunder On The Mountain is by far the best song on the cd. This cd was over rated. Not really up to traditional Dylan standards.
  14. RichR
    Aug 27, 2006
    5
    Well, I haven't actually heard this yet, so I"m giving it a five, but I can't imagine that Bob's larynx (around here they pronounce it lar-nix) has recovered since his last album. At one time, in the sixties, his voice, though rough and imperfect and unorthodox as heck, was the best thing out there. Years of, what? cigarettes? have fried his voice beyond repair. Don't Well, I haven't actually heard this yet, so I"m giving it a five, but I can't imagine that Bob's larynx (around here they pronounce it lar-nix) has recovered since his last album. At one time, in the sixties, his voice, though rough and imperfect and unorthodox as heck, was the best thing out there. Years of, what? cigarettes? have fried his voice beyond repair. Don't get me wrong, please: I love him, but his voice is fried. Expand
  15. RichL
    Aug 29, 2006
    6
    It's his third straight mix of rambling electric blues and goofy ballads. I can't see it being held in this high regard in about ten years, but at least moments like this really illuminate how ridiculous rock criticism has gotten. The Guardian offers the most level-headed review. Modern Times is good enough music, but it doesn't even top his early 90s accoustic albums for It's his third straight mix of rambling electric blues and goofy ballads. I can't see it being held in this high regard in about ten years, but at least moments like this really illuminate how ridiculous rock criticism has gotten. The Guardian offers the most level-headed review. Modern Times is good enough music, but it doesn't even top his early 90s accoustic albums for world-weariness and musical chops (go buy World Gone Wrong right now if you're hungry for over-the-hill Dylan at his best, by the way). And they went ignored, go figure. Expand
  16. MikeL
    Jan 29, 2007
    6
    A disappointment. Bob croaks some not very memorable songs you will easily forget unlike any of your favorites from the last 4 decades with only a few flashes of the old brilliance in the lyric department defering to spoon and June rhymes croaky murmured vocals and fillers like a 6 minute Rollin and Tumblin done better by others- on recent albums there would be a couple of songs of jaw A disappointment. Bob croaks some not very memorable songs you will easily forget unlike any of your favorites from the last 4 decades with only a few flashes of the old brilliance in the lyric department defering to spoon and June rhymes croaky murmured vocals and fillers like a 6 minute Rollin and Tumblin done better by others- on recent albums there would be a couple of songs of jaw dropping brillance. Almost a couple times but now wow here.. He's rockin'-in his rocking chair.Wish I bought Clapton and JJ Cale. Expand
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. Intriguing, immediate, and quietly epic, Modern Times must rank among Dylan's finest albums.
  3. 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.