One More Try
Since I am unable to accept that Alan does not like Bob Dylan's recent output I will leave you with my favorite song from his 2001 release Love and Theft. It's called High Water and it's the fershizzle.
I will no longer beat this dead horse after this post but I will say one of the reasons I still listen to Dylan and Neil Young is that I am along for the ride. Their output cannot possibly match what they did in their heyday but I still find it rewarding and worthwhile. You could say that as far as Jack White too but I will still buy the next White Stripes album because it will be better than most anything else released even thought it may not match the innocence and energy of their first album. As far as Dylan, how many songwriters, at almost 70 years old, have even approached the quality of his new album Together through Life?
As far as Dylan's success hurting his output, remember the album Blood on the Tracks came out in the mid seventies. By that point he had gone beyond the "voice of his generation" to god-like superduperstar. Granted, his marriage was falling apart but at that point he was as successful as you could be as a pop singer and he was at the top of his game. When he came out with the great Infidels during the early 80s he was hitting the legendary status and here he was still writing songs better than most. That argument doesn't really fly with Dylan because he has put a lot of effort into sabotaging his own popularity and, for the most part, shunning the life of a celebrity. As Paul Kelly once said, "I'm a legend not a star."
I will agree with Alan on that last Rolling Stones album, A Bigger Bang. It's the best album they've put out since the early 80s. My personal favorite track on that album was the blues song Back of my Hand. I played that song about five times in a row the first time I heard it. If A Bigger Bang is their best album since Emotional Rescue then Back of my Hand is their best song since Miss You or Shattered.