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It takes a Leap of Faith.
on 16 May 2006
If ever there was an underdog that need championing, then this album surely qualifies.Though not completely panned upon it's release, it was hardly held up to much critical acclaim either.Put out simultaneously with "Human Touch", that record in my eyes was the album the Boss felt he had to release, containing songs that he felt the public expected to hear, "Lucky Town" however feels and sounds like the album he wanted to make, or indeed maybe even needed to make.
In this respect "Lucky Town" is a very honest and personal record, detailing a specific ongoing portion of Springsteen's life, much like "Tunnel of Love" had done 5 years previously.Not only though is this (for the most part) a more upbeat, optimistic album , it also contain some of Bruce's best writing, the songs being full of memorable, meaningful couplets and verses.From the belting opening "Better Days", with lines line "I took a piss at fortune's sweet kiss, it's like eating caviar and dirt,it's a sad funny ending when you find yourself pretending, a rich man in a poor man's shirt", and the whole premise of "Local Hero", Springsteen is able to take a humble, almost self-mocking view of himself and his life up to that point.Both songs along with the title track, with it's opening lines of "House got too crowded, clothes got too tight,and i don't know just where i'm going tonight" suggest a man about to break loose, on the verge of something special.These feelings are encapsulated perfectly in the gorgeous closing song, where Springsteen sums up the prevailing mood, "Searching for My Beautiful Reward".
Inbetween we get glimpses that maybe the Boss has found what he has been looking for, "If i Should Fall Behind" is one of the most beautiful love songs ever written, and details the two seperate entities in any relationship trying to find the pace of the other.In "Living Proof" Bruce sings how "This boy sleepin' in our bed" is that "little piece of the Lord's undying light" he has been waiting to witness, and divine "Book of Dreams" should certainly be played at every wedding.
I think maybe you have to be a certain age to really connect with these songs, to have been down but crawled back up, or been hauled back up.Other Springsteen fans will rightly point to other albums as their favourites but "Lucky Town" works for me as a whole entity, each song compliments the others, they cannot be seperated or added to without messing up the structure.It is an album full of superb songs but also an album in which the finished article is greater than the sum of the individual parts.It is certainly worth a Leap of Faith to experience it.