||Bob Dylan has given an interview about his forthcoming album, Together Through Life, and, in a typically playful, oblique way, he addresses questions of periodization and musical meaning: "Some people preferred my first-period songs. Some, the second. Some, the Christian period. Some, the post-Columbian. Some, the Pre-Raphaelite. Some people prefer my songs from the nineties. I see that my audience now doesn't particularly care what period the songs are from. They feel style and substance in a more visceral way and let it go at that. Images don't hang anybody up. Like if there's an astrologer with a criminal record in one of my songs it's not going to make anybody wonder if the human race is doomed... If there are shadows and flowers and swampy ledges in a composition, that's what they are in their essence. There's no mystification. That's one way I can explain it."...I'm reluctant to say much after a single audition, but to my ears it was no letdown after Dylan's recent trilogy of new material -- Time Out of Mind, Love and Theft, and Modern Times...The version I heard ended with the double whammy of "I Feel a Change Coming On" and "It's All Good" -- a pair that may cause listeners to detect a political undertow in this seemingly intimate, out-of-time affair. The chorus of the gorgeously lilting, almost Motown-like "I Feel a Change" could be heard as Obamaesque...On the grimly boogeying "It's All Good," the singer dons a mask of lethal irony, surveying a ransacked social landscape and then adding, after each exhibition of desperation and decay, "It's all good." That smug little phrase has now been destroyed. Dylan's protestations in the latest interview notwithstanding, some people may indeed come away thinking that the human race is doomed, although at least we go out with a crooked smile.