There are very few artists who can put out a new album and get any sort of fanfare from me lately. U2… the Stones and of course Bruce are the ones who immediately come to mind… There may be more, but sadly no one is jumping out.
And as soon as Bruce announces concert dates, you know there is a flurry of phone calls between my core Bruce group… are we gonna go GA?Do we wanna try that one night and sit the other? Who is calling… how many are we gonna get… what if he announces another night, etc., etc.
It kind of takes over. And any Bruce show makes most other rock concerts look like amateur hour. He rocks and entertains and moves you like no one else. Period. It is a religious experience… Deeply, truly… Sorry, Rabbi.
So of course, I pre-ordered Working on a Dream and had high hopes for an album whose title I was already not so fond of… Rolling Stone gave it 5 Stars… but I have not read the review yet… I think you can tell a lot about Bruce’s albums based on their titles… When he announced Magic, I grimaced… especially seeing the names of some of the tracks… but that album has really grown on me… and “Radio Nowhere,” a song I did not love at first… became a rock anthem and favorite after seeing it live. The song has energy and just… well… rocks…
Working on a Dream sounded like it could go the path of Magic and Human Touch… and in fact, for me the only real standout on that album is “With Every Wish” (one of my favorites) but I loved the song for The Wrestler and was excited about a new Bruce disc and tour. Bruce talked a lot about “Pop” production, so I was not expecting a rocker… but this new disc seems to be Bruce light…
I like listening to it… he is a master storyteller and songwriter… but nothing has grabbed me yet. “Outlaw Pete,“ which I really did not like initially, has grown on me… and “The Wrestler” may be the best track of all, but the rest of the disc so far has left me a bit… unexcited.
Stay tuned, as subsequent listens may alter my opinion… and there are things that multiple listens will flesh out… but so far, this may be my second least favorite Bruce album…
Here is my Top Ten Bruce studio album list:
1) Born to Run
2) Greetings From Asbury Park, NJ
3) Darkness on the Edge of Town
4) The Wild, The Innocent and the E Street Shuffle
5) The River
6) Born in the USA
8) Tunnel of Love
9) The Rising
10) Lucky Town
(I did not include Tracks or Greatest Hits… but I love Tracks!)
But even with all that said, about Dream…
I still say…