Friday, January 23, 2009

Working On a Dream

medium_dream This coming Tuesday, 1/27 marks the release of the new Bruce Springsteen album (that's what I call them) "Working on a Dream".
Thanks to NPR, I've listened to it in it's entirety twice thus far and as much as I liked in the first time around, the second time offered things I missed the first time around.
Something that strikes me about this album is its variety of musical styles from pop, to rock, to folk, to country yet they maintain the common thread of Springsteen the artist.
The vocals are stellar as is the preciseness of the music, even when it's raw, it's perfectly raw - something that 40 years of songwriting and performing have clearly helped to perfect.
The best example of confidence and integrity is opening the album with the eight minute epic "Outlaw Pete", a song rich in imagery and storyline almost as if it were an audio movie that serves as its own soundtrack.
"My Lucky Day" and "Working on a Dream", two finely crafted pop gems showcase the E-Street Band as well as Bruce's ability to generate a feeling through his songs. At first listen, you surrender to the melody almost ignoring the lyrics (except the catchy choruses - as it should be in a perfectly crafted pop song) finding the right way to move to the music when its actually the music moving you. Only after the second and third listen did I indulge in the lyrics at a deeper level and they bring these songs to another dimension of genius giving life to the concept of hope.
When I first saw the song title "Queen of the Supermarket" I was a bit confused - I couldn't figure out how even the Boss could pull off a song with this title. Was he dabbling in metaphor? Tongue-in-Cheek? Ultimately, he offers a pop fantasy reminiscent of the glory days of AM radio.
to be continued...

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