Bob Dylan | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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With his latest album, Modern Times (Columbia), Bob Dylan continues a trend he started with 1997's Time Out of Mind--taking blues, country, and early-20th-century pop tunes and reshaping them to fit his own cranky, oblique, and deeply personal mold. Like Time Out of Mind and 2001's Love and Theft, the new album is an unfussy affair that translates the loose, improvisational vibe of his live shows to the studio, and he continues to liberally draw from others for inspiration. All the tunes are credited to Dylan, but he borrows licks and lines from Muddy Waters, Civil War-era poet Henry Timrod, and others; even the cover photo has been used before, on Luna's Hedgehog EP. But pointing out the provenance of each detail is useless--Dylan assimilates everything so completely it hardly matters. His band on Modern Times sounds a little too polite, but that won't be a problem onstage. See also Saturday. Kings of Leon open. a 7:30 PM, Sears Centre, 5333 Prairie Stone Parkway, Hoffman Estates, 888-732-7784, $37-$77. A

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