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

鮑勃·迪倫新唱片:《殘暴之路》——是他永恒偉大的證明(譯注:鮑勃·迪倫的新唱片,6月19日發行)

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

充滿凄涼和憂郁的節奏藍調(R&B),《殘暴之路》或將成為迪倫最佳的抒情作品





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.”

迪倫的音樂時代已經持續很多年了,使《殘暴之路》》區別于《暴風雨》和2006年發行的《現代這個時代》的是歌曲創作的純粹性和一致性;他歌曲中的所有部分都像是洪水猛獸,都能夠直戳你的要害,引起共鳴。迪倫迷們有很多有趣的歌詞看起來很滑稽,卻讓你只能苦笑,“不管是不是弗雷德,我都要來”(譯注:Po'' Boy 中的歌詞,極具諷刺意味)“我還沒死呢,我的電話還響著呢”等等。但是在《我自己的版本》中,有主人公弗蘭肯斯坦和他愛人的尸體,在引用莎士比亞的同時,還充滿著有趣的臺詞,荷馬伊利亞特,博·迪德利和馬丁·斯科塞斯,以及在一部關于弗雷德和馬克思被描述成煉獄中的人類守衛軍的有趣的插曲:“從夏天到一月份,我一直在拜訪停尸房和修道院,如果我做對了,只要擺正腦袋,我就會被我所創造的生物所營救”(譯注:新專輯中歌曲的歌詞,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.

這很明顯屬于黑色幽默:如果說《暴風雨》帶來的情緒是一種兇殘的憤怒,那么新唱片帶來的則是一種潛伏的威脅和即將到來的毀滅。在音樂中有一種怪異的緊張感,就像是在《穿越盧比康河》中的柔音藍調布魯斯的慢切分節奏,以及《黑衣騎士》不斷陷入不祥的沉默部分。迷失部分的歌詞引用的是《審判日》和《世界末日》里面的內容,里面的神秘主人公的心中總是充滿著惡意:“我能感覺到自己皮膚下面的骨頭,正在因為憤怒而顫抖,我會讓你的妻子成為一位寡婦,你再也不會看到自己中年的樣子”,這是他在《橫渡盧比定河》中寫到的歌詞。當然,滿腹牢騷地抱怨這個世界正在變得越來越垃圾,是迪倫25年來經常使用的創作模式之一——可以從《黑暗未臨》、《萬物已變》、《無話可說》以及《古羅馬王》以及其它的一些作品中體驗到——但是,這次的創作手段似乎有了些輕微的改變:如果你覺得這個世界已經變成了一團垃圾,那么《殘暴之路》將告訴你為何而堅持,敬請期待吧。

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.

也許,在全球疫情期間發布這樣一份公報并不是最好的方式,但是他以前很少給大家打來慰藉。另外,這都不是很重要。盡管發行的方式很低調,但是《殘暴之路》很可能成為鮑勃·迪倫多年來最為輝煌的一組唱片:那些頑固分子(譯注:很多人意圖破解迪倫歌詞中的含義以及出處)可能會畫上幾個月的時間來處理這些復雜的歌詞,但同時你也不需要有迪倫學的博士學位就能欣賞它獨特的品質和力量。