Many believe that his songs about mistrust and deceit in a relationship reflected Springsteen's own marital problems at the time, and the songs on "Tunnel Of Love" do indeed seem darker and more personal that his previous writings.
But that doesn't mean that it's all gloom and doom - "Ain't Got You" is a good-natured bluesy little song, and the glorious, slow rocker "Tougher Than The Rest" is the statement of a man who has been hurt but whose ego is intact and who is willing to take another chance.
"All That Heaven Will Allow" is light-hearted and fun in spite of itself. "Brilliant Disguise" is one of Springsteen's later masterpieces, a dark, bitter tale of supposed infidelity set to one of his best tunes. The tragic, yet hopeful "Spare Parts" rocks, whereas the quiet, folkish "Cautious Man" would have fitted seemlessly onto "Nebraska". And the same thing goes for "Walk Like A Man", which is just Springsteen, a synthesizer and Max Weinberg on percussion, and seems to carry a strong message to his father.
The only song that dosn't really work for me is actually the title track. A bland melody and too many unnecessary sound effects and annoying backing vocals.
"Two Faces" and "One Step Up" are pleasant little mid-tempo folk rockers, though, and the album closes with the resigned but melodious "When You're Alone" and another Nebraska-throwback, "Valetine's Day" (which would benefit from an actual melody, but really isn't all bad).
All in all, "Tunnel Of Love" is certainly not the most accessible album Bruce Springsteen has ever made, and it not as pop radio-friendly as "The River" or "Born In The USA", but give it a chance, and you will find that the lesser songs are vastly outnumbered by the good ones. And besides, it has "Brilliant Disguises" and the majestic "Tougher Than The Rest". Gotta have those two, right?
This is Bruce's divorce album ( I'm sure ). This is an album about him losing the one he loves, and it's for real.
The real strength here is that you sense this album comes completely from the heart. That's not to say the album is raw, but what you have has been modulated and refined so what you're left with is the truth - Wordsworth said that emotion was passion recalled in tranquility, and that's what we have here.
What makes it strong is that Bruce is very much a man's man. He's not the type to conjure up fake tears and trauma - so his sadness here is the real deal.
It's an album about how it's hard to do the right thing, hard to stand up tall. It's about how important love is, and how hard it hits you when its gone. The beauty is that it lacks rancour and accusation. It's pure.
This is not Born in the USA, and it's not Born To Run - so fans of Springsteen might not find it completely to their taste. However, those who find Springsteen a little bombastic ( not saying he is ! ) should maintain an open mind about his work ( qv Ghost of Tom Joad ). He's a man with plenty to say.
Stand out tracks - Walk Like a Man, Brilliant Disguise, Valentines Day, and the glorious One Step Up.
This product's forum
Active discussions in related forums
Search Customer Discussions