There has been plenty written about Bruce's new CD and for the first time, a lot of it is bad. For some reason there is this expectation that each Boss CD will be a powerful work: Something to ponder for years to come. Is that fair? It has been a long time since Dylan (who many consider the most important songwriter of our generation) has put out a CD that is truly worth dissecting.
What Springsteen has created here is a solid CD. Each song stands on its own. But other than "The Last Carnival" (written for Danny) and "The Wrestler" (written for the movie), none of the songs are "important". The single, "Working on a Dream", is a good single written for a time when singles don't matter. It will probably be the only song to last from this CD. I'm sure it will be a regular during the upcoming tour and it will be a semi-regular after that. The production on this CD is excellent, with full arrangements that take you back to "The River" days. There are a couple of songs that you may not like, which is also rare for a Springsteen CD, but each song has been created with care.
Things have changed. In the early days, Bruce carved out songs from stone, putting his flesh and blood into them, and maybe not really knowing where they would lead or why they were important. In doing so, he created anthems for a generation. They are songs that will always reach us deep inside. Today, Bruce is a master craftsman. He is at the top of his form when creating songs. But, the flesh and blood aren't there anymore. And maybe that's okay. We're in our 50's today. There probably aren't any new anthems he can bring us without becoming a caricature of himself.
So the question, as always, comes down to: Should you buy this CD. And my answer is YES. These are good songs, put together well, by one of the best still performing.