- Audio CD (Jan. 27 2009)
- Number of Discs: 2
- Format: Limited Edition, CD+DVD, Audiobook
- Label: Sony Music
- ASIN: B001L5SXQG
- In-Print Editions: Audio CD | LP Record
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #16,757 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Working on a Dream (Deluxe Version) Limited Edition, CD+DVD, Audiobook
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Limited CD/DVD edition includes a bonus DVD that contains 30 minutes of behind-the-scenes footage on the making of the album. 2009 album by one of the finest American songwriters of his generation. Working on a Dream was recorded with the E Street Band and features 12 new Springsteen compositions plus a bonus track: 'The Wrestler'. . It is the fourth collaboration between Springsteen and Brendan O'Brien, who produced and mixed the album. Springsteen also wrote an eponymous song for Darren Aronofsky's 2008 film The Wrestler. The song, also titled 'The Wrestler' won the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song. SBME. 2009.
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On Born to Run's 25th Anniversary DVD Springsteen acknowledged that he worked very hard on lyrics to avoid falling into cliché on that record. On Working on a Dream his songs can't avoid falling into that trap. Queen of the Supermarket is the best example of this as the lyrics just don't dance the tightrope of sounding like an authentic slice of life tune that zeroes in on our quiet daily crushes. Instead Bruce spouts some truly awful lines like 'each night I take my groceries and I drift away.' Really Bruce, did you wander down to the Wal-Mart in between tour stops?
In between such cringe inducing moments Springsteen does give us a solid track or two. Outlaw Pete gets the album off to a great start as this eight minute epic is a great showcase of Springsteen's grandiose abilities that he showed off on Born To Run. It gives the album the sort of large scale beginning that Thunder Road did. The rest of the CD however, never even attempts to climb such heights and jumps by with very few memorable moments. The real problem may be the rushed nature of the recording sessions. Springsteen usually takes his time in between records but Working on a Dream comes very quickly on the heels of 2007's Magic. Great Springsteen songs feel like a lot of work has been put into them. That feel doesn't take hold here as songs like Kingdom of Days feel below Springsteen's songwriting ability with choruses and over-the-top production that make the songs about everything but their lyrical intent.
Springsteen may have made his reputation originally by putting on great live shows, but on Working on a Dream the time and work it takes to make a great pop rock record appears to be no fantasy. Maybe Bruce should've waited until the tour ended.
In that vein, then, we find Bruce mining the sound of The Mamas and the Papas and The Beach Boys (again!) with "This Life," early Elvis ("Tomorrow Never Knows"), and Roy Orbison (the title cut). On "Surprise Surprise" we even get a snatch of Bobby Sherman! All these songs are exquisitely crafted and executed with typical E-Street efficiency, but none are very personal, and Springsteen's greatest gift has always been his ability to make music his audience can relate to. The three-star rating I have given this release is really a nod to the crackling musicianship of the E-Street Band on display here; the songs themselves are kind of...weird ("Queen of the Supermarket?!"). Even opening rouser "Outlaw Pete," for all its epic production, sounds like the theme to a western parody; is Bruce just having us on?
Upon first listen, I can't tell if he's serious or not...
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