Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Darkness on the Edge of Town - Bruce Springsteen

I wanted to review Lucille but I haven't gotten to it, but I plan on it. I also will get Cherry Bomb done. Maybe next week or something. Well anyway lets start this let down. This is the follow up to Born to Run, so this is album number 4. It took over a year to finish that album, about 15 months, this one took 6 months. The thing is that it was about two years before it could be recorded, and three in between the release of the albums. The reason for it was because of a legal battle between Jersey Devil and Mike Appel (his first manager). Appel sued Springsteen after dropping him as his manager in favor of the man who said Bruce was the future of rock and roll Jon Landau, who also was an editor for a magazine. The battle lasted, I believe, within the time in between these albums. This album was recorded as a whole band instead of overdubs. The thing that I think is neat is that there were 70 songs written for the album, 50 of which were recorded (though some where incomplete). Now the interesting this is tracks not used for the album include Fire, Independence Day, Because The Night, Heart of Stone, Rendezvous, Point Blank and many others. Note: I refuse to call him The Boss, I read somewhere he didn't like that name and I sure don't. Now let's get started.
  1. Badlands: This opens the album and it's a rocker. The biggest problem is his inflection. I mean the "oh oh oh oh" almost takes me out of the song. This is a track that is a great opener, but I just can't get with it once I've heard it a few times, it's just not as good as some of his other tracks period.
  2. Adam Raised A Cain: Another rocker, more rocking than Badlands. Now this is a pretty solid track, the only problem here is that I don't like the chorus at all. The chorus is probably supposed to make it like an anthem, but it just makes me, honestly..... It makes me loose interest in the entire song. Like other than for this review, I doubt I'll ever listen to this again. Maybe part of the album is its crafted and :(
  3. Something in the Night: The beginning of this song is odd, and a little off. Off in a good way, to be clear. Now where does this song kind of not reach what I want. Well tracks one and two were straight, and this is a straighter version of a song on Born to Run. And well, no.
  4. Candy's Room: Far superior to Candy's Boy, an early verison of this track. I do really think that drum thing is pretty cool and so far this is the most interesting song on the album, and I think that's kind of good. Like my ears perked up when I heard the intro. Now I really like the piano rolls and think the chimes help it. This is song, at first seems kind of cluttered, but who knows, maybe upon multiple listens it will unclutter a lah E Street Shuffle.
  5. Racing in the Streets: I recently read somewhere that this has been, called by critics, Bruce's best song. The best songs he's made are Rosalita, Blinded By The Light, The River, Thunder Road, among others. Well actually if I could only pick one it'd be between Jungleland and Rosalita. It's funny I mention Thunder Road because this song most resembles it in the beginning. And while this is a very touching song. I dig the chorus, but for whatever reason it's not connecting with me. This is the superior version of the song, well at least I can take it more. This is one of the tracks with a repetitive chorus that isn't so bad.
  6. The Promised Land: Even that organ doesn't save this song for me. Sounds like all the other songs.
  7. Factory: This isn't that bad of a song, but again.... It doesn't have that Magic I desire from him.
  8. Streets of Fire: "in a real death waltz, between what's flesh and whats fantasy". This has a very very very bare organ and vocal intro. Which when the part that follows shouldn't have surprised me, but completely kills the mood of hope for this song to be true-lee great.
  9. Prove It All Night: This is ............ The chorus is the same as Adam Raised A Cain and most of the other songs here where it's just a repeat of the title. And it works on songs like Purple Rain is because it's full of building and full of emotion. This is just too repetitive.
  10. Darkness on the Edge of Town: This song opens with something that is promising, and to be honest the first time I heard it I didn't care. Now after hearing in the context of the album, it's not half bad, and the fact that the chorus isn't just pasted in and cut out, it actually has changes instead of a loop. Possibly the best song on the album.
Overall I have to give this a 5/10. At one point the only song on here I liked is Badlands, but you know to be honest there isn't anything about any of these songs that I like enough to out way the thing I don't like. It's basically an album of Backstreets. He said he wanted to bring this album to it's barest elements, but I love albums that are very bare and straight forward. Examples are Either/Or, Draw the LineJohn Wesley Harding, Double Vision, The Rolling Stones Ep,  Please Please Me and Five by Five ep to name some. Those are all great albums that are very straight forward, and this isn't great. I think he goes for the mature grown up version of Born to Run and it's not working for me. I think Born to Run is more engaging. It's more real, this is just like an old fogy talking about shit that he's too old to have the energy or emotional connection to. And He did a better job on tracks on the next album. Now critics said this was a more mature album, so I looked at the music, no there. Then I looked at the lyrics, and I really looked. I read every single word and dissected the album. I realized that the themes where all themes I could connect with directly at this point in my life. And seriously..... I feel nothing. I feel very bad, why? Well Independence Day was a track that he didn't use for this album. Now I think the best version of that song is a live version with the piano on it. I bet he would have played that version of it if it were here. Now would that hurt The River's impact on me, Yes. Would it help this album be easier to take, Hell Yes. I don't know, I guess it's better than the unbearable Nebraska (though that albums title track is better than anything here). The albums is just medium, average, nothing special. Also the track Give The Girl A Kiss is better than all but the other two bloded tracks on this album, and it was recorded back as an outtake and released on the 1998 comp Tracks.

On the bright side look forward to reviews for Cherry BombAt.Long.Last.A$AP, Just Like You, Either/Or, The College Dropout, Ok ComputerSol Invictus, To Pimp A Butterfly, The Magic Whip and some others. Not all theses (besides maybe OC will be up by 2016).

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