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Hoses of the Holy in the Parallel Universe

April 29, 2005

originally uploaded by mcmrbt.
A little unfairly, I'm going to give a big shrug of the shoulders to the new album, based on just one hearing. I heard the title track on Johnny Walker a couple of weeks ago, and I've yet to receive the copy I ordered, but someone I know downloaded it from iTunes and I blagged a copy for the car. Don't worry, Sony, I've still paid for the damn thing, so you're not out of pocket.

So I was listening to the compressed 128mbps version, but I still feel qualified to say I'm not all that bothered.

The voice he does when he sings these folk-blues acoustic things is just this whiny mumbling rumble in my ears, and it just does not make me want to pay attention and really listen. The Springsteen I've always gone for wrote good words and good melodies, songs you could sing. Frankly, when he tries to do a harder-rock thing, or the blues, I've always switched off. Even something like "Cover Me," for example, from BitUSA, I skipped every time it came on. Other tracks, like "Light of Day," "Soul Driver," "Gloria's Arms," "The Big Muddy," I couldn't even hum it for ya.

So I'm a fair weather fan, except that when he does move me, he moves me a long way, and I had a lot of emotional investment in him. Fact is, he did very few of these more, shall we say, rubbish numbers when he performed live.

As for this folky, mumbly Every Man character, the Tom Joad thing, Nebraska even. I quite liked a couple of the Nebraska tracks: "Atlantic City" is a fantastic song - but miles better when he does it live with a full band.

I'm not even going to talk about what the songs are all about - I just don't care. This Brendan O'Brien trendy producer bloke adds nothing to the mix, Springsteen, at 55, has lost his singing voice as badly as Bob has, and I can think of better ways to spend an hour.

I'll give it another listen when I get the full fat version, and it might grow on me, eh?


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