"I may be wrong and you may be right, and by an effort, we may get nearer to the truth." (Karl Popper)

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Bob Dylan does it again

Bob Dylan really seems to have pulled out a classic with Modern Times. I haven't bought it yet, but I certainly intend to, not least after reading the superb reviews it has been given. For example, Pitchfork gave it 8.3; AllMusic Guide and Rolling Stone have been similarly positive. I've heard some of the songs and it is not difficult to see why. The man has quite simply written the best songs he has in a long time. I enjoyed Love and Theft, but Modern Times really looks like being something quite special. To be still producing the goods 44 years after his debut album is some feat. We will not see his like again.

In looking for reviews of Modern Times, I came across the interesting Meta-Critic website, which gathers reviews of the particular album, book, game, dvd or film, as the case may be, from selected sources, calculates an appropriate rating out of 100 (whereas Pitchfork gives ratings to decimal places, many reviews only give a rating out of five, or ten) and then comes up with a weighted critics' average. The average is weighted by assigning more weight to publications of greater stature than to newer or lesser known ones. As examples of the results of this process, Thom Yorke has registered 75, Primal Scream 56, Outkast 65, and Dylan 95. Admittedly, the maximum number of reviews (30) has not yet been reached in Dylan's case (for Modern Times has only just been released), and more lukewarm reviews may surface, which would naturally reduce the collated average.

If you haven't done so already, check out Modern Times and Meta-Critic.


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