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Working On a Dream

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Reseña de álbum

From its bright, brittle production to its tossed-off postage stamp cover art, Working on a Dream is in every respect a companion piece to Magic, an album that's merely a set of songs, both sprawling and deliberately small, songs that don't necessarily tackle any one major theme but all add up to a portrait of their time. Magic chronicled the dog days of Bush where Working on a Dream is designed as a keynote to the Obama age, released just a week after the inauguration of the U.S.'s 44th president and not coincidentally containing not a little optimism within its 13 tracks. This sense of hope is a tonic to the despair that crept into the margins of Magic but it's easy to posit Working on a Dream as pure positivity, which isn't exactly true: a hangover from W lingers, most vividly in the broken spirit of "The Wrestler," and Bruce mourning departed E Street Band member Danny Federici with "The Last Carnival." Springsteen peppers his tribute with images recalling the early days of the E Street Band but saves a revival of their wild, woolly sound for the opening "Outlaw Pete," a cavernous, circular, comical epic reminiscent of Springsteen's unwieldy portraits of rats on the Jersey Shore. "Outlaw Pete" is Working on a Dream at its best, playing like nothing less than The E Street Shuffle as reflected and refracted through Arcade Fire's naked hero worship, casually highlighting how producer Brendan O'Brien has gently nudged the Boss toward new musical avenues. Many of these new sounds are drawn from the past, often feeling informed by Little Steven's Underground Garage — Van Zandt and Nils Lofgren's guitars chime like the Byrds; the band knocks out a tough little blues number on "Good Eye"; and Springsteen shows a knack for pure pop on "Surprise, Surprise" and indulges his ever-increasing Brian Wilson fascination on "This Life," whose percolating organs and harmonies rival the High Llamas. All this rests nicely alongside the Boss' trademarks — galloping rockers that fill a stadium ("My Lucky Day") and their polar opposite, his intimate acoustic tunes ("Tomorrow Never Knows") — which all make Working on a Dream read like a rich, inventive, musical album...which it is, to an extent. The ideas and intent are there, but the album is hampered slightly by the overall modesty of Springsteen's writing — by and large, these are small-scale songs and feel that way — and hurt significantly by the precise, digital production that muffles the music's imagination and impact. A large part of Springsteen's appeal has always been how the E Street Band has sounded as big and open as his heart, but Working on a Dream, like Magic before it, has a production that feels tiny and constrained even as it is layered with extraneous details. It's possible to listen around this production and hear the modest charms of the songs, but the album would be better if the sound matched the sentiment.

Reseñas de usuarios

Least favorite Springsteen album

It's music by The Boss so I really, truly want to like it but I can't. Besides the title track, there really isn't anything here I see myself as wanting to listen to again when he's created so much better work. For an album that supposedly is all about hope and positivity as the album review says, it's a snoozefest.

its ok

old springsteen albums had no weak tunes this one does, i do not like the pop direction hope he strays from that soon

Working on a Dream

One of Springsteen's weakest studio albums, but it still features some essential later era Bruce including: Life Itself, Kingdom of Days and The Wrestler. I'd also download: What Love Can Do; The Last Carnival; Surprise, Surprise; Queen of the Supermarket and the title track. But then I'm a hardcore Brucer.


Nacido(a): 23 de septiembre de 1949 en Freehold, NJ

Género: Rock

Años de actividad: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Cuando Bruce Springsteen finalmente irrumpió en la escena nacional en 1975 –tras una década intentándolo– la crítica lo saludó como Salvador del rock, el único artista que unió la exuberancia del rock de los ‘50 con el cuidadoso esmero del rock de los '60, dándole un estilo más acorde con los ‘'70. Su rock era tan duro como el de Jerry Lee Lewis; sus letras tan complejas como las de Bob Dylan; y sus conciertos, cercanos a una celebración religiosa. Décadas más tarde, Springsteen continuaba como una...
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