Is Bob Dylan dropping a new album tonight?
Is a new Bob Dylan album on the way?
Stranger things have happened. On Thursday afternoon, the bard’s Twitter account posted a scary illustration of a top-hatted skeleton with a needle in his hand. Suggesting a character from a pulp novel from the ’50s, the skeleton’s shadow is corpse-dangling from a rope. A would-be album title, “False Prophet,” sits atop the image. The tweet also carried a cryptic message: “What are you lookin’ at — there’s nothing to see.”
What are you lookin’ at - there’s nothing to see. pic.twitter.com/TzCBvpIMBo— Bob Dylan (@bobdylan) May 7, 2020
The suggestion that Dylan’s new studio album is on its way is backed by the recent surprise releases of two new songs. The first, a 17-minute song called “Murder Most Foul,” is a Shakespeare reference from “Hamlet.” Specifically, as The Times’ Randy Lewis noted, Act 1, Scene 5, which is voiced by a ghost: “Murder most foul, as in the best it is. But this most foul, strange and unnatural.”
The second, a melancholy ballad called “I Contain Multitudes,” features Dylan sighing into the microphone like an exhausted reaper. “I got a tell-tale heart like Mr. Poe / Got skeletons in the walls of people you know,” he sings. “I drink to the truth / And the things we said / I’ll drink to the man who shares your bed.” He name-checks Anne Frank and couples “Indiana Jones” with “the Rolling Stones.”
If true, “False Prophet” would be Dylan’s 39th studio album and the first of new material since 2012’s “Tempest.” In the interim, the artist has issued a trio of covers albums, “Shadows in the Night,” “Fallen Angels” and “Triplicate.”
New albums and songs are typically released via streaming services on Thursdays at 9 p.m. Pacific time.
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