Artist:© Bob Dylan Track:© "If You Ever Go to Houston" Album:© Together Through Life

I have mixed feelings about every new Dylan album: I'm glad he's alive, but I just can't rave about the loose, bluesy roadhouse tunes he continues to bank on. Together Through Life, out this week, has a similar laidback vibe -- as if he's sitting somewhere in Juarez with a handful of really talented drifters, just playing to pass the time.

His albums aren't bad. They just don't snap, crackle and pop like his best albums, among which I would put Love & Theft, released in 2001. Dylan is almost always good; he just shouldn't be hard to like. "If You Ever Go to Houston" is a break from the doldrums, the one track that jumped out at me.