It’s a hoot. More than anything, I think Dylan’s comeback over the past decade is rooted in his rediscovering his sense of humor, and it’s certainly on display here. Every week, Dylan does an hour of music on a particular theme, spinning everything from Jimmie Rodgers tracks recorded in the late 1920s to Chuck Berry, Van Morrison and beyond.
This week’s theme was dogs. Here’s how Dylan opened: “Welcome to ‘Theme Time Radio Hour.’ Today we’re going to talk about a highly variable, carnivorous domesticated mammal — man’s best friend. And if you’re thinking dog, you’re right, buddy. So get off the couch, get yourself a bowl of water and heel.”
Dylan’s new album, “Modern Times,” will be out by the end of the month. I heard a preview recently, and it sounds pretty much like his last album, “Love and Theft” — or “‘Love and Theft'” as the Times fussily puts it in this piece by Jon Pareles. (Dylan was quoting, you see.)
All in all, it’s been a remarkable late-career return to form.