2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Solid and light?,
This review is from: Working On a Dream (Audio CD)
Well, if this isn't a breezy, wistful, joyous pop album! There are those who I suspect may struggle to want to like this album, but I suspect that's because they want their Springsteen music to be, well, serious.
Despite being recorded in close proximity with recent album 'Magic', the tone of this CD couldn't be more different. While 'Magic' felt like a reflection upon 8 years of living under the 'shiny saw blade' of the Bush administration, 'Working on a Dream' seems to eschew the political in favour of the personal. The closest brother to 'Magic' is 'Life Itself'; full of brooding and foreboding lyrics and with a simple, swelling refrain that seems to gather in intensity around the Byrds-influenced guitar work.
Opener 'Outlaw Pete' is cinematic Springsteen and the E-Street Band at its best. It might lack the lyrical complexity of some of the hit-and-run stories of 'Nebraska', but its a wonderfully widescreen epic, full of colour and dynamics. Admittedly, it might be as adventurous as the album gets, but early on, the unmistakeable swagger of 'My lucky day' and positive 'Working on a Dream' are solid pop songs that reflect the optimism that shines through this album.
This album's probably closest to the unjustly neglected gem 'Tunnel of Love' - although that used the personal to devastating lyrical effect, like 'Working on a Dream', it was a damn fine pop album. The final tracks touch on some kinds of despair and solitude, 'The last carnival' being a simple elegy to Danni Federici, recently deceased member of the E-Street Band. Bonus track 'The Wrestler' is raw and bruising like its subject matter.
Springsteen has delivered an album of unashamed, unabashed pop music that seems to trace those best cuts of music he must have first heard as a young man. As such, its a welcome change from his recent material and a varied and surprisingly robust album.