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Bruce Springsteen - Working On A Dream


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Outlaw Pete is a cool song despite the KISS riff. Radio Nowhere was also a good song from the last album, but Springsteen was similarly accused of plagiarism with that track, and I've already seen a lot of reviews compare "Pete" to "I Was Made for Loving You," and not in a flattering way for the most part. I don't know if he's purposely doing this as an homage to older songs he likes, but it almost seems like he's just being kinda lazy. :shrugs:

The Wrestler is great. Best track on it.

Queen of the Supermarket is one of the most hokey things he's ever written. It almost seems like self-parody -- e.g. if Springsteen of 2009 were asked to write a mock-up of his 1970s self, this is what he'd write. And the way he drops the f-bomb in the song (something he's only done once before in his career) seems strangely unnecessary. Normally swearing doesn't bother me at all, but here it almost feels like he's trying too hard to be...surprising? It ends up just cheapening an already sub-par track.

The title track is growing on me but I still think it's average at best. Ditto for most of the tracks actually.

I liked Magic a lot more, but my biggest complaint was Brendan O'Brien's production, and it's even more destructive here. The way he glosses over the album and practically buries the E-Street boys is sad. Really sad. And the symphonic swirls he accompanies every song with only work on choice tracks -- on Magic it seemed appropriate for Girls in Their Summer Clothes as a Brian Wilson-style throwback, but on the darker or intimate tracks it seemed very cheesy and awkwardly used. It's even more obvious on this one, because all the tracks are just glossed over with this cheesy, outdated faux-wall-of-sound bullshit. It's not impressive, it's kind of antithetical to the spirit of Springsteen as a down-to-earth rock n' roller, especially when he's playing with the E-Street Band.

I'd give it 3/5 on the strengths of the two above-par songs. It's certainly not terrible or even bad, it's just slightly above average, and in comparison to his best work it's a tragedy. The whole album should have sounded like The Wrestler -- sparser production. I don't think Brendan was present for the recording of that one because it was done for the film soundtrack. Brendan also ruined Libertad with his shitty glossy production, imo, and I'd be happy to see him out of a job. Permanently.

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I thought it was funny that Rolling Stone gave it 5 stars.

I don't think they've ever given anything he's done less than that, except maybe Human Touch. :shrugs: Magic got 5/5, too.

They do the same thing with Dylan, pretty much. If Axl had done an interview with them he could have gotten a 5 star review too.

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Thats is exactly Rolling Stone in a nutshell. You don't even have to hear the album and you will already know what review they will give it.

And I agree. The Wrestler is a great song. But the rest of the album . . . . I listened to it once and at the end, there was no other song I wanted to go back for a second listen.

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I quite like it... It's nowhere near his 70s stuff but it's still good. I enjoy most of the tracks, the exception being the downright embarrassing Queen Of The Supermarket. The Wrestler is one of his greatest tracks in a very long time and some of the other tracks are really good too. I gotta listen to this a bit more before judging it but at the moment it's roughly 3,5/5 for me. Brendan O'Brien's production ruins much of the record for me though, the same way as he did on Magic. They just have produced it similar to Darkness On The Edge Of Town or The River, not polishing all up and making it a mess.

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I haven't listened to all songs more than once, but Outlaw Pete and Kingdom of Days are two great tracks, as is the title track.

It isn't better than Magic, which I'd rate as one of Bruce's best records ever, and the production is iffy. Why not try to capture the raw energy of the E-street Band which is so evident when they play live?

What amazes me is that Brendan O'Brien also produced The Rising, which in my opinion sounds exactly how a Bruce-record should sound. Powerful drums, crisp instruments and not overdone.

Edited by Demon Wolf
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