Tempest, Bob Dylan‘s 35th studio album due out this fall, is said to show the darker side of Dylan. He originally set out to make a religious album, but in the end, he created something deeper and darker than he intended.

What does “the darker side of Dylan” mean?

For starters, the album’s title track is reportedly a 14-minute ode to the sinking of the Titanic. Though the track is about a real event, Dylan told Rolling Stone that the song is not an entirely truthful account of what happened. He even mentions Titanic film star Leonardo DiCaprio in the lyrics (“Yeah, Leo,” Dylan said. “I don’t think the song would be the same without him. Or the movie.”)

“People are going to say, ‘Well, it’s not very truthful,’ ” Dylan said. “But a songwriter doesn’t care about what’s truthful. What he cares about is what should’ve happened, what could’ve happened. That’s its own kind of truth. It’s like people who read Shakespeare plays, but they never see a Shakespeare play. I think they just use his name.”

Other songs that show a heavier side of Dylan are “Tin Angel,” about a man’s search for his long-lost love, and “Pay In Blood,” a track where he repeats the line, “I pay in blood, but not my own.”

As far as his initial, religious intentions go, Dylan said he felt he didn’t have enough religious songs in his repertoire.

“I wanted to make something more religious,” he said. “I just didn’t have enough [religious songs]. Intentionally, specifically religious songs is what I wanted to do. That takes a lot more concentration to pull that off 10 times with the same thread – than it does with a record like I ended up with.”

Tempest is set for release September 11. Dylan has not yet released an entire track from the album, but new song “Early Roman Kings” soundtracks a lengthy preview for the Cinemax series Strike Back.

Sarah Scroggins, WCBS-FM; additional reporting from Jillian Mapes, CBS Local


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