Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Working on a Dream Bruce Springsteen

Having been indoctrinated into the fold in '84 after seeing them live for the first time (I've been to many, many shows since), I'm pretty psyched that they're playing the Superbowl. Here's my song by song synopsis of the new album, "Working on a Dream".
'Outlaw Pete'-Always a master of the epic story song, Bruce doesn't dissapoint here at all. We've been to circuses, carnivals, city streets and back alleys, front porches, and boardwalks with Bruce, but, this is the first 'old west' themed storyline I can recall. Being from Kentucky, I find it cool that Pete comes from the "Appalachian Trail". This one's a little cornball at first, with Pete robbing the bank in his diaper and all, but, that just helps set up the story. The theme of this whole album, whether intentional or not, it 'time'. Here in this song, boys and girls, the lesson is: No matter what you do, you can't escape your past. You can't run from it. Instead you must find way to deal with it before you move on because like it or not, it becomes a part of who you are forever. Great song. Ranks among his best.
'My Lucky Day'-A great upbeat rocker. Wouldn't have sounded out of place on "Born in the USA".
'Working on a Dream'-Nice song. Used on a couple of late stops on the campaign trail.
'Queen of the Supermarket'-Lyrically, this one's a departure. Seems there may be more going on at the local Kroger than milk, cereal, and meat purchases. This'll be some folks' favorite. Not mine. I haven't really 'gotten' it yet. The surprisingly blatant "F" bomb he throws at the end is an intentional surprise. I'll have to skip this one when the kiddies are present.
'What Love Can Do'-Catchy hook. Some nice guitar work. Other than the "sunny" lyrics, this wouldn't have sounded out of place on 'Magic', musically.
'This Life'-Some critics will say this one's overproduced. I disagree. If anything, more of the Beach Boys type harmonies would have been welcomed. Wait'll you here this intro. It takes the layered sound that they were shooting for on 'Girls in their Summer Clothes' to a whole other level. In fact, the music on this is so much like the Beach Boys, it ain't even funny. Great song, and something different.
'Good Eye'-Now I know why Bruce counts Howlin' Wolf and Muddy Waters as some of his all time favorite singers. Bruce does the Delta Blues here. He's found a place for that fuzzbox vocal that first showed up on the D&D tour for "Reason to Believe". This one's awesome, and another musical departure.
'Tomorrow Never Knows'-Steve Earle doesn't sound this much like Steve Earle anymore.
'Life Itself'-I've been playing this one over and over for the past couple of weeks now. I love the jingle jangle Byrds sound they're getting out of the guitars on the breaks. Yet another musical stretch.
'Kingdom of Days'-Another one about 'time', and it's effect on our lives. Use it wisely. This one sounds like a lot of the stuff on 'Magic' as well.
'Surprise, Surprise'-This might be my least favorite so far. Nice hook, though.
'Last Carnival'-This one had to have been written with Danny Federici in mind. If you're a long time E Street Band fan, this one'll put a lump in your throat.
'The Wrestler'-Thanks to Mickey Rourke for asking for a song for "The Wrestler". Otherwise, we might never have gotten this one. Great. Very somber. But, danged if I ain't ever seen a one legged dog making it's way down the street. Maybe two legs, or three, yeah, but, a one legged dog? I'm going to youtube now.
"WOAD", in my opinion, is yet another sonic and lyrical masterpiece from the Earth Shakin', Soul Stirrin', Tongues a Waggin', Tail's a Rockin', mighty Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. I might add that you can hear Federici all over the place on this whole album. I've loved most all of Bruce's stuff over the years, and the "Tunnel of Love" album was no exception, but, I remember when it came out, I searched frantically for any sign of "the band" in there, and it just wasn't happening for me. Little did we know back then...


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