Monday, June 7, 2010


Bob Dylan - 4th Time Around

Found at

I'm a partially strange person in that I don't normally listen to song lyrics. If I like a song particularly well, I will eventually absorb the lyrics after double digit listens, but even then, I don't really care what they are. For me, good lyrics make a good song better, but bad lyrics don't ever made a good song worse.

This is why I have a hard time figuring out why I like Bob Dylan so much. The man is a lyrical titan, but what else does he have? He's famously bad at singing (at least classically), as well as guitar and harmonica. To me, however, its all about his understanding of momentum. Take this song for example. Multiple instruments gradually enter at the beginning, eventually coming together to form a spiraling cloud, slowing swirling upward while slight changes in Dylan's voice and instrumentation keep our attention. This song could go on for a half hour in all its bridge-less splender and I wouldn't notice. Its strange to use such contemporary pop language on him, but Dylan really knows how to ride a good hook for as long as he wants without making it boring.


  1. I am same with music and lyrics. I don't think I would like Bob Dylan if he were good at singing classically. His lyrics complement the rawness, honesty, and occasional humor, with which he sings and which he sings about. I think, to me, that's most significant. Haha, is this comment obnoxious?

  2. Nope, agreed. Its about complex creation of atmosphere and maintenance of that atmosphere.