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Friday, February 17, 2012

Bruce Springsteen -- Lucky Town

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6/10

Lucky Town starts off strong. "Better Days" seems like about as autobiographical a song as Springsteen could write in 1992.  It's pretty simple to see that the better days he speaks of involve his new life with his new wife (and now wife of over 20 years), and his time out of the spotlight.
Well I took a piss at fortune's sweet kiss 
It's like eatin' caviar and dirt
It's a sad funny ending to find yourself pretending
A rich man in a poor man's shirt
It's all well and good that Springsteen is disenchanted with being a huge star traveling around the world on a magic carpet made of money.  It's great that he realizes that life isn't him, and that he is attempting to get back to being a simple man. It's great that through his trials he's learned humility.  Divorce is a sad topic, but befitting this change, Springsteen even traded out his supermodel wife for a plain old Jersey Girl from right down the street.  Though this collection of songs came out on the SAME DAY as the recently trashed by The Nicsperiment Human Touch, there is more grit and truth in Bruce's voice on this one track than on all of that album.  But unfortunately, Bruce hasn't come to a place where he realizes he can both humble himself AND create great music.  So once again, barring a few standouts, Lucky Town is another weakly produced album of less than stellar tracks.
The one major positive element that lifts this album above its fraternal twin is Bruce's palpable excitement at starting this new life, one true to himself.  This feeling never falters throughout the album, even when Bruce puts a false twang into his voice (which isn't being dishonest...that forced twang is true to who Springsteen is). This makes Lucky Town at least listenable, despite the lackluster nature of Bruce and his new band's music...if only there was a band Bruce had better chemistry with than this one...

Looks like that Jackson fellow is still playing bass...

1992 Columbia
1 Better Days 4:08
2 Lucky Town 3:27
3 Local Hero 4:04
4 If I Should Fall Behind 2:57
5 Leap of Faith 3:27
6 The Big Muddy 4:06
7 Living Proof 4:49
8 Book of Dreams 4:24
9 Souls of the Departed 4:18
10 My Beautiful Reward 3:55

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