Together Through Life entered the charts at #1, this is becoming a habit for the crotchety old pop star.
Lyrics largely written along with Robert Hunter lyricist for the Grateful Dead it is maybe the most lightweight of the 21st Century Dylan. Of course not everything has to be heavy man. Dylan’s pronouncement on the album was that his fans would like it, and he was right.
Mike Campbell from the Heartbreakers and David Hidalgo from Los Lobos join in with the touring band. The album musically retreads the blues/folk/rock feel of previous albums with less stylistic changes. It’s a pretty uniform album in that way. Dylan produces and the band take direction well so it all works out. It may very well be one of the most consistently sounding Dylan albums in a long time.
This however makes for the fourth good to great album in a run from Dylan. Unheard of consistency in many ways but not unwelcome. the 21st Century was not treating the old codger badly, love songs, songs bemoaning the fate of the world, road songs and feisty songs. Not a bad record in all. Even though it runs to a double album on vinyl it doesn’t feel bloated like some records of the time by his contemporaries.
Apparently it began life as a soundtrack album and then took a different direction becoming a full on album.
The final track is, It’s All Good which stands as a phrase of contempt, denial, anger, frustration and confusion at the state of the world, it is almost as if Vonnegut’s phrase of “so it goes” made it into song. Maybe in a year or two Dylan will write a song called “It is what it is” to memorialize the current state of events and the lack of leadership.