by Mark Grassick, first published in LondonTourdates #041 ,27th February 2009
It’s getting harder and harder to be a Springsteen fan. The Bruce of Darkness On The Edge Of Town, Born To Run and Nebraska doesn’t really exist anymore. What we have now is a farcical facsimile of the man who breathed life into blue collar rock.
Even The Rising and Devils & Dust contained heartbreaking moments such as ‘My City Of Ruins’ and ‘Devils & Dust’. Working On A Dream is deflatingly average. Only two moments stand out, for contrasting reasons.
‘The Wrestler’ is Springsteen back on firmer ground, a downtrodden, dejected former hero refusing to accept when his time is up. ‘Queen of the Supermarket’, on the other hand, is embarrassing, the kind of song that those who abhor Springsteen have always mistakenly associated with him.
Bruce has always been at his best when he’s rallying against something, be it the shackles of small town America or the foreign evils threatening the values of his America. Working On A Dream is Springsteen with nothing left to fight.