By Chuck Arnold JOE NICK PATOSKI Ralph Novak STEVE DOUGHERTY
September 04, 2006 12:00 PM

Modern Times
REVIEWED BY STEVE DOUGHERTY

CRITIC’S CHOICE

BLUES-ROCK

On his satellite radio show, His Bobness airs a surprising range of influences, from Muddy Waters and Little Richard to Tammy Wynette and Frank Sinatra. But it seems the old Bard is longing for a new muse. “I’m wondering where in the world Alicia Keys could be,” he sings with sly humor on the kicking, Chuck Berry-riffing opener “Thunder on the Mountain.” The shout-out is just one of the charms of this gem, which bristles with the kind of lyrical jolts you won’t get from James Blunt. “I can hear a lover’s breath … Sleep is like a temporary death,” he sings on “Workingman’s Blues #2.” But it’s the music, exquisitely performed by Dylan and his five-piece swing-and-shuffle band, that really dazzles. Knowing well the limits of his hot-peppers-and-sandpaper voice, Dylan growls, purrs and even croons through this enormously tuneful set.

DOWNLOAD THIS: “Thunder on the Mountain”

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