Very loquacious indeed ... Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan: Rough and Rowdy Ways review – a testament to his eternal greatness

鲍勃·迪伦新唱片:《残暴之路》——是他永恒伟大的证明(译注:鲍勃·迪伦的新唱片,6月19日发行)

Full of bleak and brooding rhythm and blues, Rough and Rowdy Ways reveals Dylan at his lyrical best

充满凄凉和忧郁的节奏蓝调(R&B),《残暴之路》或将成为迪伦最佳的抒情作品





These are musical areas in which Dylan has worked for years. What sets Rough and Rowdy Ways apart from Tempest or 2006’s Modern Times is the sheer consistency of the songwriting; there’s nothing here that sounds like dashed-off filler, nothing that doesn’t hit home.Dylan nuts have a great line in telling you how hilarious lyrics that seem capable of raising at best a wry smile are – “Freddie or not, here I come”, “I’m not dead yet, my bell still rings” etc – but My Own Version, in which the protagonist turns Frankenstein and builds himself a lover out of bits of corpses, is packed with genuinely funny lines amid the references to Shakespeare, Homer’s Iliad, Bo Diddley and Martin Scorsese, as well as a curious interlude during which Freud and Marx are depicted as “enemies of mankind” burning in hell: “All through the summers into January, I’ve been visiting morgues and monasteries … if I do it right and put the head on straight, I’ll be saved by the creature that I create.”

迪伦的音乐时代已经持续很多年了,使《残暴之路》》区别于《暴风雨》和2006年发行的《现代这个时代》的是歌曲创作的纯粹性和一致性;他歌曲中的所有部分都像是洪水猛兽,都能够直戳你的要害,引起共鸣。迪伦迷们有很多有趣的歌词看起来很滑稽,却让你只能苦笑,“不管是不是弗雷德,我都要来”(译注:Po'' Boy 中的歌词,极具讽刺意味)“我还没死呢,我的电话还响着呢”等等。但是在《我自己的版本》中,有主人公弗兰肯斯坦和他爱人的尸体,在引用莎士比亚的同时,还充满着有趣的台词,荷马伊利亚特,博·迪德利和马丁·斯科塞斯,以及在一部关于弗雷德和马克思被描述成炼狱中的人类守卫军的有趣的插曲:“从夏天到一月份,我一直在拜访停尸房和修道院,如果我做对了,只要摆正脑袋,我就会被我所创造的生物所营救”(译注:新专辑中歌曲的歌词,以及引用的典故)

This is obviously humour of a dark hue: if Tempest’s prent mood was one of murderous fury, then here it’s brooding menace and imminent doom. It’s there in the music – the weird tension in Crossing the Rubicon’s muted R&B shuffle and the way the backing on Black Rider keeps lapsing into ominous silence.You lose count of the lyrical references to judgment day and Armageddon, of the mysterious characters that keep cropping up with malevolence on their minds: “I can feel the bones beneath my skin and they’re trembling with rage, I’ll make your wife a widow, you’ll never see middle age,” he sings on Crossing the Rubicon. Of course, grouchily informing the world that everything is turning to shit has been one of Dylan’s prent songwriting modes for a quarter of a century – it’s the thread that binds Not Dark Yet, Things Have Changed, Ain’t Talkin’ and Early Roman Kings, among others – but this time the message seems to have shifted slightly: if you think everything has turned to shit now, Rough and Rowdy Ways keeps insisting, just you wait.

这很明显属于黑色幽默:如果说《暴风雨》带来的情绪是一种凶残的愤怒,那么新唱片带来的则是一种潜伏的威胁和即将到来的毁灭。在音乐中有一种怪异的紧张感,就像是在《穿越卢比康河》中的柔音蓝调布鲁斯的慢切分节奏,以及《黑衣骑士》不断陷入不祥的沉默部分。迷失部分的歌词引用的是《审判日》和《世界末日》里面的内容,里面的神秘主人公的心中总是充满着恶意:“我能感觉到自己皮肤下面的骨头,正在因为愤怒而颤抖,我会让你的妻子成为一位寡妇,你再也不会看到自己中年的样子”,这是他在《横渡卢比定河》中写到的歌词。当然,满腹牢骚地抱怨这个世界正在变得越来越垃圾,是迪伦25年来经常使用的创作模式之一——可以从《黑暗未临》、《万物已变》、《无话可说》以及《古罗马王》以及其它的一些作品中体验到——但是,这次的创作手段似乎有了些轻微的改变:如果你觉得这个世界已经变成了一团垃圾,那么《残暴之路》将告诉你为何而坚持,敬请期待吧。

This isn’t perhaps the most comforting communique to issue in the middle of a global pandemic, but then the man behind it has seldom dealt in soothing reassurance. And besides, it doesn’t matter. For all its bleakness, Rough and Rowdy Ways might well be Bob Dylan’s most consistently brilliant set of songs in years: the die-hards can spend months unravelling the knottier lyrics, but you don’t need a PhD in Dylanology to appreciate its singular quality and power.

也许,在全球疫情期间发布这样一份公报并不是最好的方式,但是他以前很少给大家打来慰藉。另外,这都不是很重要。尽管发行的方式很低调,但是《残暴之路》很可能成为鲍勃·迪伦多年来最为辉煌的一组唱片:那些顽固分子(译注:很多人意图破解迪伦歌词中的含义以及出处)可能会画上几个月的时间来处理这些复杂的歌词,但同时你也不需要有迪伦学的博士学位就能欣赏它独特的品质和力量。