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Odysseus's avatar

Does Bob Dylan have a succesor in this day ?

Asked by Odysseus (2751points) April 1st, 2010

I’m worried that I may be missing out on a lyrically genius musician in our day and age.

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22 Answers

davidbetterman's avatar

No worries, @Odysseus…There is no one who will ever replace Dylan…

FutureMemory's avatar

I’m ashamed to say I’ve never listened to Bob Dylan. I know nothing of his lyrics, social/political views, nothing.

A high school teacher told me once that I “would be an advocate of Bob Dylan”. Can someone explain what that might mean?

dalepetrie's avatar

When I think of Dylan, I think of lyrics more than music, and his lyrics not only tell a story, but they ebb and flow and go in a million directions, they challenge traditional rhyme schemes but still rhyme, and they manage to express things in a roundabout way that is somehow more direct than just saying what you mean. They are clever and insightful and structurally they stand in a class by themselves.

I have to say, though I have far more respect for rock than for rap in general, and am a fan of far more rock music than rap music, Dylan’s lyrics were/are poetic, they could have been spoken instead of sung (and at times you can’t reallly call what Dylan did “singing” per se). I feel that his lyrics have far more in common with the cream of the crop in rap, because rap is such a lyrical form of musical expression, often times the music is simply a clever re-mixing and as such does not require the melodic talents or the virtuousity of rock and roll. And to me, Dylan’s music is very much a simple mixture of things that have worked in the past, I don’t feel as though his tunesmanship has much to do with his fame…if you were to listen to instrumental tracks of Dylan recordings, I suspect it would be rather boring.

As such, I have to say, now that I’ve laid down my caveats, that Eminem, love him or hate him, is about the only “MC” whose lyrics I appreciate on the same level as Dylan’s. Now obviously Eminem is not nearly as prolific as Dylan, but if you look at the way he can turn a phrase, it’s really quite impressive. Now rock has and has had great lyricists, I’m thinking Jack White is a great lyricist as was Kurt Cobain, and in many ways I like their music even better than either Dylan or Eminem, but it’s that almost stream of consciousness, flowing, rambling sort of vibe that both Dylan and Eminem share.

Odysseus's avatar

Outstanding, dalepetrie !

escapedone7's avatar

I like Leonard Cohen . However the only commonalities are the inability to sing so good but the tenacity to do it anyway, and really poetic lyrics. He’s old though. Hardly an up and coming.

escapedone7's avatar

Nope. I don’t like eminem. He seems like a malignant narcississt to me, abusive, gets his jollies by trashing other people to get attention, and somehow is way too self important and self absorbed. I can’t stand to finish the videos. Reminds me of someone I knew too well, and wish I never met.

Dylan, however, doesn’t leave me with heebie jeebies and feeling like I have to wash the yuck off me to get it out of my head. His spirit seemed more gentle, his words more full of feelings I like.

FutureMemory's avatar

The only time I allowed myself to sit through an entire Eminem video, I was rather impressed with his very clever lyrical style. I can’t relate to any of the shit he talks about, but he does have far better writing skills than the average rapper.

Odysseus's avatar

haha, thanks FutureMemory, one more then you have his diversity over the last 8 years or so

Odysseus's avatar

escapedone7 I truly doubt he gets “his jollies by trashing other people” considering, he continuously reminds us that he himself it trash. Elevate

escapedone7's avatar

What about “The Warning” and so many others like it? ”Nail in the coffin very… charming.
I stand by my assessment.

filmfann's avatar

Someone who can tell an entire story in poetic words, breathtaking melody, and a voice that sounds like a garbage disposal?
Tom Waits.

dalepetrie's avatar

@anescapedone7imen – I can totally understand and respect how someone could not care for Eminem, and in terms of a) personality, and b) lyrical content, he definitely is a different beast from Dylan altogether. But I’m thinking of modern day sensibilities…someone with the same general lyrical style but a completely modern point of view. There’s where I think he fits the bill, like I said…love him or hate him.

And I do agree with Tom Waits being as great of a storyteller and sharing some stylistic elements, I’d simply consider him as maybe the Dylan of a generation or two ago…heck, almost a contemporary when you realize he’s been doing it since the early 70s.

forestGeek's avatar

Beck comes to mind when I think about an artist that can be compared to Dylan…both musically and lyrically.

Others that I think are both musical and lyrical geniuses are Richard Buckner, Devendra Banhart, Johnny Dowd, Conor Oberst, Isaac Brock (Modest Mouse) and Jim James (My Morning Jacket).

dalepetrie's avatar

Get crazy with the Cheez Whiz

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