Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Boss: Winning Ugly

Not too long ago I got to hear an advance copy of Bruce Springsteen’s new album, Working on a Dream.

Oh boy. God knows when he wrote this stuff; sounds like it was during the recent Magic Tour with the E Street Band. It’s concert honed, hot, and hungry.

This new Springsteen album, his 24th, was written as a tribute to Danny Federici. For me, one of the all-time great videos of this year was Bruce and Danny Federici getting together on 4th of July in Asbury Park. Federici died last April and the piece by Bruce on his website was one of the most moving obituaries I’ve ever read. Federici’s son, Jason, plays Federici’s signature accordion on the 'Last Carnival'. It is a thing of beauty.

The whole album is a great example of street fighting, ball kicking, road warrior rock ‘n roll. In my mind it’s gonna be the theme album for Winning Ugly Together. The opening track is 'Outlaw Pete'. This is a Bob Dylan-like gun fighter parable with incredible instrumentation, fantastic keyboards, great harmonica, along with awesome guitar from Steven Van Zandt. It feels like an epic western with John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, and Sam Peckinpah all involved. 'What Love Can Do' and 'Surprise, Surprise' keep the album moving, and 'This Life' and 'My Lucky Day' sound like they come right out of 60’s Pop Nirvana.

All Bruce’s influences are alive and well, ranging from Bob Dylan to Roy Orbison to The Beatles and his New Jersey Stone Pony roots. It is ideal for road trips, iPods, and starting-the-day-pick-me-ups when hell is breaking loose. Working on a Dream was released on January 27. Order your copy today.


Martin Renaud said...

His music is also ideal for teaching kids about how great Rock can be performed. The super bowl show was my children's first exposure to Bruce and his band performing on stage.

They went straight to youtube and to see his other performances. In just a few minutes the band made a huge impression on them.

jemster said...

Hey Kevin, two of your great passsions, the boss and rugby come head to head in this great article by Stephen Jones in the times