I've been a Springsteen fan since 1983 when I picked up Nebraska and then I got Born to Run; the rest was history. I became hooked and just in time for the Born in the USA tour. I've seen Bruce 40 times including at the Stone Pony. My eight year old son Jacob has seen him 4 times. Unfortunately, we won't be seeing Bruce on the first leg of tour because this CD is probably the worst collection of songs that Bruce has ever released. We'll wait for the second wave which should be his typical Greatest Hits tour.
Most USA fans consider Human Touch Bruce's worst release and then probably Ghost of Tom Joad (not a rock CD) or Devils and Dust. Me? Human Touch by far even though I never bought GOTJ (my friend Frank B bought it for me as a joke) and I don't own Seeger Sessions (couldn't see celebrating Pete Seeger). Anyway, Working on a Dream makes Human Touch look like a Springsteen masterpiece.
- Bruce's voice on WD sounds truly tired. Most readers will think he never sounded good, but as a fan, Bruce's has hit a new low on this CD. On Human Touch his voice is very strong and near peak performance.
- The whistling on Working on a Dream is an all time low for corniness. It used to be Man's Job.
- Queen of the Supermarket is absolutely a ridiculous song. My 8 year old son can't even sing it. The song reminds me of Car Wash from Tracks but Car Wash is infinitely better because Bruce had the good sense to only release it with a collection of songs that never made official releases. Seriously can you see yourself singing these lyrics?
As the evening sky turns blue
A dream awaits in aisle number two
With my shopping cart I move through the heart
- Back to Working on a Dream as the title song. Compare it to Human Touch. Which one is a better opener and title song?
- As storytelling goes even Outlaw Pete is horrible. The CD with the exception of The Wrestler blends together. There doesn't seem to be a lot of diversity in the music or the sound. Again Human Touch has a much more diverse sound and lyrics.
- Is Surprise, Surprise the most repetitive song since I'm Going Down? However, unlike I'm Going Down, Surprise, Surprise has next to ZERO unique verses in it and it is about surprise, your birthday. UGH
- Yes The Wrestler is a good Springsteen song. Good as in good/not great, but it wouldn't make the final cut on Nebraska, Devils & Dust, or Ghost of Tom Joad. However, for this release it sounds good, the lyrics are up to Bruce's standards, and the music has a decent beat.
It really pains me to write this, but Working on a Dream is not even a half-hearted attempt by Bruce to put out decent stuff. It seems that he was in a rush to put this out in time for Obama's inauguration to capture whatever momentum he thinks he would get from it (my opinion is none). Bruce shows that he is even more disconnected from his fanbase than he ever has been. Surprisingly the media gives it a decent rating, but you can't trust these people anymore.
His fans grew up with his rock sound and then learned to love his stripped down music like Nebraska where it really was about the lyrics and the story telling. However, songs like Working on a Dream, Surprise, Queen and the rest of this wretched release (exception The Wrestler) shows that Bruce really has no clue about what his fans want or who we are anymore. Maybe he never cared which is cool, but to expect the fans to keep taking crap like this year over year is very sad. Working on a Dream should have been set aside for the next release of Tracks.