Metascore
86

Universal acclaim - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. Tell Tale Signs feels like a new Bob Dylan record, not only for the astonishing freshness of the material, but also for the incredible sound quality and organic feeling of everything here.
  2. The reason Tell Tale Signs works so well from start to finish is that all the songs, even those that are modest on their own ('God Knows,' 'Miss the Mississippi'), are illuminated by the company they’re in.
  3. 100
    Tell Tale Signs is awash with evidence of his staggering mercuriality, his evident determination even in the studio to repeat himself as little as possible, re-takes not merely the occasion for refinement, the honing of a song into static finality, but serial re-imaginings.
  4. Tell Tale Signs makes plain that Dylan knows the caprices of the world he lives in, now more than ever.
  5. As Dylan's official bootlegs go, this is one of the series' best.
  6. Excitingly, Tell Tale Signs jumps decades ahead to offer an alternate history of a less leaky period: the creative renaissance that started at the end of the 1980s and has been bearing fruit ever since.
  7. Tell Tale Signs subtly makes a good argument that Dylan’s later work is richer than expected.
User Score
9.2

Universal acclaim- based on 58 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 9
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 9
  3. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. PenineH.
    Nov 23, 2008
    9
    Fantastic, many revealing surprises, and at least 2 of my now favorite Dylan songs.
  2. MatthewB.
    Nov 23, 2008
    10
    My only quibble, and it's a small one, is that I'd rather have more studio boots (more Bromberg sessions, please!), and less of the My only quibble, and it's a small one, is that I'd rather have more studio boots (more Bromberg sessions, please!), and less of the live stuff. The Bootleg Series has worked terrific when the live stuff has been specific shows (Live '66) or compilations of specific tours (Rolling Thunder). Taken out of those contexts and thrown in haphazardly...they just seem jarring and unexpected. I felt this way about Biograph, too. Still...there's not a track on there that won't become immediately essential to those who care about Mr. Dylan's work. The genius glows like burning coal (to steal from...let's see...who was that...?). Full Review »
  3. JohnH.
    Nov 10, 2008
    10
    A dark and gloriously complex take on modern times, this album will be playing in my house every day for a long time. Rich, thick, beautiful.