Thursday, February 12, 2009

Grouse du Jour

I never thought I'd be nostalgic for the days when Bruce Springsteen agonized over albums for years before releasing them. They may have lumbered with portentiousness, but at least they were more interesting than Working on a Dream. The early albums interested me as he mythologized youth, and I understand there coming a day when he couldn't believe in those myths anymore. But his best music deals with myths - confronting them on Born in the U.S.A. - or inhabiting new ones on his folkier efforts including The Seeger Sessions. Singing conventional rock songs about the conventional thoughts of a man in his late 50s makes him, well, conventional. And really - it sounds like he's trying too hard.

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