Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Working On A Dream: A Quick Review

Heading into this listen I was expecting this to be a minor effort from Springsteen; in the same vain of “The Ghost Of Tom Jones”, “Devils & Dust”, and “Tunnel Of Love”. Thankfully, the fact that this may be his most satisfying album in a while is a great surprise. “Magic” was really, really good, but that album was more short bursts of power than drawn out fist-pampers. “Working On A Dream” flows better and has more variety. A quick rundown of the tracks with ratings (1-5 stars):

1. Outlaw Pete- The best song on the album to kick it off. This is 8 minutes of pure, old-school Springsteen. Just absolute awesomeness in every aspect. Reminds me of Jungleland. The harmonica bit that comes in the middle also reminds me of Supertramp’s “School” opening. A fantastic song. 5/5

2. My Lucky Day- By far the most addicting and easy song to love on the album, the hook is a monster and the lyrics just barf happiness. No one else is better than The Boss at revving you up with energy and here’s a great example. It’s such a simple track, but who cares? 4.5/5

3. Working On A Dream- It takes you a while to warm up to this one, but it’ll eventually get you. It’s a little too sublime which holds the song back from truly jumping out. With that said, it’s still memorable and the pace does pick up as the song ticks on. 3.5/5
4. Queen Of the Supermarket- Juuuuuuuuuuuuust short of being great, nevertheless still very nice. One of the more bizarre tracks on the album as the lyrics go and look out for the blatant f-bomb The Boss drops toward the end (which is rare for him). 4/5

5. What Love Can Do- A nice little pop tune. Nothing more and nothing less. 2.5/5

6. This Life- It begins sounding like a Christmas song and then evolves into a graceful rock ballad. Has a hint of sorrowfulness in it. 4/5

7. Good Eye- Springsteen doesn’t throw too many curveballs, but this one is a knee-buckler. If I just heard this on the radio I’d think it was from garage bluegrass band. There lies the novelty of it though. Quite enjoyable 3.5/5

8. Tomorrow Never Knows- Pure filler. Not terrible, just instantly forgettable. 1/5

9. Life Itself- At first this sounded too rushed, but that’s just from the jumpy beat the song has. The odd thing about that is this song isn’t even fast. 4/5

10. Kingdom Of Days-One of the high points of “Working…”, this is the best ballad Bruce has done in a while. Really anthemic with a great melody. Sounds like an outtake from “Darkness On The Edge Of Town”. 5/5.

11. Surprise, Surprise- The lyrics are way too peachy and this song isn’t breaking any barriers, but it’s really catchy. All filler right here, but at least it’s fun to listen to. 2.5/5

12. The Last Carnival- Springsteen delves into “Nebraska” mode again with favorable results. Bizarrely arranged song that has a cool aura about it. 4/5

13. The Wrestler- Pure brilliance. Only way to put it. Springsteen could write about a toaster and make it heart wrenching. 5/5

14. The Night With The Jersey Devil (Bonus Track)- Gotta love the rollicking beat, Bruce’s fuzzy vocals, and that roadhouse feel. 4/5

Overall- 4/5 Once again, this is a really worthwhile listen that shows Bruce still has the creativity and range to make great, timeless music like no else can.

1 comment:

Robert Langellier said...

I'm glad this album is getting rave reviews from pretty much every outlet. So far, the first part of the album is sounding absolutely marvelous to me.