Turn That Noise Down - Bruce Springsteen

So many well-known albums turn 30 this year and Steve Taylor-Bryant and Susan Omand travel back to 1992 to revisit some of the sounds of their youth that made parents shout "Turn that noise down!" This week, our boss, Steve, listens to The Boss' album Lucky Town...

Bruce Springsteen in the early 1990’s was like a bus. You were waiting ages and then all of a sudden two albums came along at once. Lucky Town and Human Touch were two different albums, touching upon very different subject matters, and could very well have been crafted into one incredible album, as Rolling Stone remarked in their review of both records, but Springsteen, to me, has never been an artist who doesn’t care what review sites and magazines say. He was trying hard to get Human Touch done for years and, during a writing session for one final album track, he managed to produce ten other tracks, because he’s Bruce fucking Springsteen and he’s The Boss for a reason. So I’m going to review the albums as released, two separate entities, and I’m starting with my favourite of the two - Lucky Town.

I like Springsteen when he has something to say about darker moments in his own life or in the world in general. My all-time favourite Springsteen number is Murder Incorporated, about how killing has incorporated itself into every day society, and whilst I like maybe the softer more romantic lyrics of other songs and albums, it’s always the thoughts on towns and communities disintegrated, on war and it’s effects on people and society, and other stark realities that I think Springsteen excels in communicating like no other artist.

Better Days, a song about his divorce and trying to recover from dark times, and Souls of the Departed, inspired by the first Gulf War, are perfect examples of Springsteen baring his heart and soul to his audience and yet showing his skill as a songwriter and entertainer at the same time. There is a more folk rock sound that often drifts in to Born in the USA territory than on maybe other records and, since reconnecting with the E Street Band, I don’t remember seeing many if any at all of Lucky Town’s tracks being played live on DVDs I have. That’s not to say that the songs aren’t deserving of your time, they absolutely are and I have an affection for all ten of the tracks but maybe when you’re responsible for a million [perhaps a slight exaggeration - Ed] really good songs some stuff will fall by the wayside.

Lucky Town is an exceptional album that should be a wider listen than maybe it is. I’ve now reminded you all and I expect to you to dive in.

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