Stream Bob Dylan ‘Tempest,’ The xx ‘Coexist’
These days most of us are 21st century digital boys and girls, and as album leaks are pretty much a given at this point rather than a fear, many record labels have taken an almost “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” approach. This means letting the fans have what they want. Early and legally through streaming sites.
Bob Dylan and the xx are the latest artists to let their fans get a taste of upcoming music before it is officially released. Both have new records coming out next Tuesday (Tempest for Dylan, Coexist for the xx), and both have released the entirety of their new albums for fans to stream as often as they’d like.
Dylan is using iTunes to stream his 35th (!) studio album. Clocking in at over an hour, a good portion of the record is taken up by its title track, which is just under 14 minutes long and explores the sinking of the Titanic.
A blog post on the L.A. Times last week focuses only this track, and calls it “one of the most extraordinary compositions from the most acclaimed songwriter of the rock era.” The blog also provides a clearer picture of the song.
“For ‘Tempest,’ he’s conjured up an Irish-Celtic waltz feel as he chronicles this oft-told tale, in a voice as tattered as a shattered china cup, across 45 verses with no chorus.” I’m not one to throw around exclamation points, but I think a second one of the post could be justified for use after the number 45.
Apparently the song isn’t only historical, as it also name-checks “Leo” from the 1997 film depiction of the sinking ship.
The xx debuted their sophomore album on NPR’s First Listen, which consistently provides previews of the best new albums (recent examples include Cat Power, the Avett Brothers and Animal Collective).
“The London band invests these 11 songs with real, bruised emotion, whether Romy Madley Croft is exposing her lovesick nerves in ‘Angels’ or she and Oliver Sim are exuding wounded regret in ‘Sunset,’” states the write up for the album. The review concludes that the songs are “delicately crafted so that every softly ringing note, and every aching second of dead air, hits like a cymbal crash.”