With Shadows In The Night, Bob Dylan is closing yet another circle in his life and career. As with 1993's World Gone Wrong, Dylan has circled back to material that formed him. WGW brought him back to the roots of his art (and in itself, by sequencing and song selection, formed a discrete, distinct Dylan album in its own right.)
With Shadows, he has done this again, but with his own life. We have another distinct Dylan album in it's own right, with Dylan fully inhabiting these songs and making them his own. The themes of loss, regret and mortality have dominated his later periods, but reach a certain fruition here; this is Dylan at the fullness of age.
The quality of the album itself has had a predictable small amount of sniping, but those with ears to hear (a majority this time) acknowledge the the beautifully muted and concise arrangements, with Dylan (how does he do it?) giving his best singing in years...
Dylan's vitality as an artist, even now as he seems to be closing out all old accounts, remains strong and vital, matched by few great artists of age. For the ages, another keeper; for us in this living moment of its making, another gift from perhaps the greatest artist of the last half of the Twentieth century, and of the first half of the Twenty-First.
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