orking on a Dream
Working on a Dream isn’t what you’d expect from Bruce Springsteen, said J. Freedom Du Lac in The Washington Post. On his 16th studio album, the Boss mostly abandons the rich, character-driven stories of 20th-century America that have defined his career. His “first album in which style clearly trumps substance,” Working on a Dream lacks the songwriter’s characterizing purpose and lyrical vision. This apolitical album fails to reach the depths of Springsteen’s best work, said Rashod Ollison in the Baltimore Sun. Gone, too, are the protest songs of 2006’s We Shall Overcome and the battle cries of 2007’s Magic. Most tracks are sonically ambitious but “forgettable,” with the notable exceptions of the stripped down “Last Carnival” and “The Wrestler.” Such “overcooked production” sands down Springsteen’s raw, “rough-edged” style of rock ’n’ roll and undercuts his songwriting strengths. It just seems wrong to hide the Boss under so many layers, said Ann Powers in the Los Angeles Times. After all, he “can wring meaning out of a dish towel.”
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Who are the real gay marriage bigots?
- Why is American internet so slow?
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Religious liberty should be a liberal value, too
- Don't worry: World War III will almost certainly never happen
- How to take the perfect profile picture for online dating, according to science
- What the collapse of the Ming Dynasty can tell us about American decline
- Watch The Daily Show mock Fox News' confused man-crush on Vladimir Putin
- The Daily Show's Aasif Mandvi dismantles another ObamaCare myth
- The one simple thing that can make you much more impressive
Subscribe to the Week