It was just earlier this month that we learned Bob Dylan is about to hit us with a brand-new studio album, Together Through Life, on April 28. Today he surprised us again by debuting that album’s “Beyond Here Lies Nothin'” as a free MP3 download from his official website. Never say old Bob isn’t hip to the mile-a-minute pace of music consumption on the Web.
So how’s the tune? Pretty great, at least after a couple of quick listens. I’m a huge Dylan fan who was less than thrilled with the plodding blues of his last studio effort, 2006’s Modern Times. “Beyond Here Lies Nothin'” keeps that album’s traditional chord progressions, but peps up the tempo and spices up the sound with a mean little accordion riff and an electric guitar part that almost sounds like it could have come from a peak-era partner like Robbie Robertson or Mike Bloomfield. (In fact, that’s David Hidalgo from Los Lobos on accordion and Mike Campbell from the Heartbreakers on lead guitar.) I’m digging the lyrics, too, with their classically Dylan motif of making a human connection in a dangerous world.
Right now, at least, “Beyond Here Lies Nothin'” feels like the best new Dylan song I’ve heard in years. But it’ll only be available as a free download through the end of today. So head to bobdylan.com and snap it up quickly — then let us know what you think of Bobby Z.’s latest.
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