Online Editorial: "It's Time to Fire the Boss" (Springsteen)

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by MusicFan76, Jan 7, 2009.

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  1. MusicFan76

    MusicFan76 Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    East Coast, USA
    It's Time to Fire the Boss
    By JT Ramsay
    Wed, 07 Jan 2009 16:29:45 GMT

    Everyone loves Bruce Springsteen. Well, maybe not everyone, but a lot of people do, and with good reason. He became the voice of the post-Vietnam generation. His music spoke to the hardworking men and women trying to get by as a new day dawned in Reagan's America. He took the world by storm with a string of critically acclaimed records from his 1973 debut to his masterpiece, "Born in the U.S.A."

    At his creative and commercial peak, he rebuked Ronald Reagan. It was the courageous and right thing to do. But, oh, how the mighty have fallen. He may still rank right up there with Dylan as a great American songwriter for his past work, but unlike Dylan, he's no longer making music that means anything, maybe not even to himself. The Boss has become a populist caricature, unable to speak cogently about the problems Americans face today. Listen to his new music and tell me he's not simply going through the motions.

    It may not look like it, but Bruce Springsteen is a man undone by his own success. No, his isn't the cliched story of so many rock stars, brought low by partying to excess. For Bruce, it was something more personal. He threw away his identity, his most prized possession, the thing that made it possible for people to believe in him. It all ended when he walked away from the E Street Band, married an actress, divorced her, and moved to Hollywood, then moved back, hoping that his problems were simply a matter of geography.

    What we see now is a shell of his former self. There's no denying that his tours still sell out to a throng of absolutely rabid fans, but they don't go to hear his new music. They want to hear the songs he wrote twenty to thirty years ago. He may still be an electrifying performer, but he's clutching to his audience's nostalgia now. It may be a living, but what has he done lately that's really moved you? Isn't that what made his music so special?

    Once the voice of the working man, Bruce is now selling his Greatest Hits at Wal-Mart. His new album, "Working on a Dream," will be as forgettable as his last, although "The Wrestler" has its moments. Instead of being an exciting musician, he's become the Willie Loman of Americana, covering the same ground joylessly with every successive album. Whatever fire was in his belly when he wrote "Born to Run" burnt out long ago. Sad though it may be, it's time for change: we need to fire the Boss.
     
  2. MusicFan76

    MusicFan76 Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    East Coast, USA
    I can't say I agree with everything in this editorial meant to simply stir the pot (though he makes some points), but I will say that the new single, Working on a Dream, is beyond horrible, and highly disappointing after a lot of good songs on the Magic album.
     
  3. Khojem

    Khojem Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Irvine, CA, USA
    He's playing the Superbowl this year. Once my Dad found out he was going to play during the halftime show, he said "Is a washed-up rocker the best they can get?"
     
  4. johnny 99

    johnny 99 Exiled On Main Street

    Location:
    Toronto
    What a crock o' sheeiite

    2 words for that writer: Piss off!

    J T Ramsay (whoever that is) just embarassed themselves there big-time.

    *****!
     
  5. JDeanB

    JDeanB Forum Resident

    Location:
    Charlotte, NC USA
    Gosh, Springsteen has never been one of my favorites, but I think this article is pretty harsh. I liked the Magic album as much as any of his work, and really enjoyed seeing those songs performed on his last tour. (Actually, I enjoyed the new songs more than many of the early ones.) I guess some writers feel the need to tear down others heroes.
     
  6. Tim S

    Tim S Forum Resident

    Location:
    East Tennessee
    Bruce is okay, but he never was the world-changer this article claims and he isn't the over-the-hill loser it describes either.
     
  7. Gene

    Gene Active Member

    Location:
    New York, USA
    Sounds like Bruce has stopped comping this guy concert tix...
     
  8. johnny 99

    johnny 99 Exiled On Main Street

    Location:
    Toronto
    Magic got nods from some critics that normally wouldn't say anything good about Bruce.

    It was a universally liked album (minus the sonics that were loathed here!):D

    That writer is an ignoramus.
     
  9. nosticker

    nosticker Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ringwood, NJ
    I guess this guy found nothing relevant about "The Rising"? :confused:
    People took cheap shots at Bruce for the subject matter, but IMO(and I'm not particularly a fan) he succeeded in making an inspired album.

    I wonder what *really* got this guy so peeved.



    Dan
     
  10. bhazen

    bhazen Re: Member

    Location:
    Newcastle, WA
    He could be describing loads of rockers who've been around for decades. I'm no Springsteen fan, and own none of his records; but couldn't the writer be talking about the Rolling Stones or any number of other acts whose classic work was decades ago? Older successful musicians don't want or need to retire; and they give the fans what they want, usually - the hits. I still occasionally go see a few of my fave artists (like the Moody Blues), and they haven't done anything truly essential for decades either. A rock concert is more about being part of a community (however tenuous) and being "in the presence of". "Clutching to his audience's nostalgia"? Please. If anything, it's the audience that's doing the clutching (I should know!) As long as he delivers what they want to hear, he's done his part of the bargain.

    And, what does where an artist lives ("[he] moved to Hollywood, then moved back") have to do with the quality of the music? I'd submit that Bruce stopped being much of a Jersey shore homeboy, Rosie, when he first got his "big advance"...that was years before he released the excellent Born To Run.
     
  11. Ctiger2

    Ctiger2 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    USSA
    I wish Magic would have been mixed/mastered properly. It's nice album... The vinyl sounds like Hell, I can't imagine how the CD sounds... Double-Hell maybe.
     
  12. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits and Abbie: Best Dogs Ever

    Location:
    Alexandria VA
    There are too many "writers" on the Internet who throw out provocative articles just to poke the bear, and that's exactly what this article does. Yawn.

    JT Ramsay's next epic: "Why Puppies Are Bad for America"... :rolleyes:
     
  13. mjomalle

    mjomalle New Member

    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    Hmmmm. ... I kid. I kid.
     
  14. Pawnmower

    Pawnmower Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dearborn, MI
    springsteen always looks constipated when he sings.

    or maybe thats contempt for his country.
     
  15. mjomalle

    mjomalle New Member

    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    Who is the "We" that the writer refers to. Bruce is big to a certain age group but no one would ever claim that he is (or ever has been) a representative of the current 40ish and under crowd.
     
  16. I've never been a Bruce fan (not in the slightest -- I've never been moved enough to buy even one album by the man).

    BUT, I do have a LOT of respect for the guy (musically speaking), and that's never waned over the years (I think I've always felt that way about Bruce).

    And oddly enough, I could say all of the exact same things about Dylan, and The Dead too, come to think of it.


    (I'll be 40 in a couple months, for what it's worth.)
     
  17. davenav

    davenav Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brooklyn, USA
    I'm not a huge fan, myself, but this diatribe is way over the top. What difference does it make where he chooses to live or marry? I mean, get a grip.

    And the guy is quite likely to receive an Oscar this year. That's not, in itself, validation, but it's a good song and definitely not the work of someone who is a 'mere caricature.'

    I think I smell sour grapes...
     
  18. davenav

    davenav Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brooklyn, USA
    Yeah, that's why his voice is synonymous with 'Americana'? :rolleyes:
     
  19. Jay F

    Jay F New Member

    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I was the biggest Bruce Springsteen fan until Tunnel of Love. He never did anything as good after that. If I went to a Springsteen concert, yeah, I'd want to hear the oldies.
     
  20. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits and Abbie: Best Dogs Ever

    Location:
    Alexandria VA
    Spoken like someone who has ZERO understanding of Bruce or his music... :rolleyes:
     
  21. davenav

    davenav Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brooklyn, USA
    But, you as a critic should understand that to be critical inherently means to have contempt! Did you miss the memo? :shh:
     
  22. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits and Abbie: Best Dogs Ever

    Location:
    Alexandria VA
    Oh, I'm FILLED with contempt - I just don't always let it show! :D
     
  23. davenav

    davenav Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brooklyn, USA
    You gotta get that constipated look on your face! :)
     
  24. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits and Abbie: Best Dogs Ever

    Location:
    Alexandria VA
    I was BORN with it, man! :laugh:
     
  25. davenav

    davenav Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brooklyn, USA
    Well, let your contempt-flag fly, baby!!! :righton:
     
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