New Band of the Month: March – Reflection

This marks the end of my third month of the new feature.

For my third month of the New Band feature, I chose Hall of Fame rocker, Bruce Springsteen (read my initial thoughts here).

So, with March over, what are my thoughts?

Like I said in the original post, Bruce Springsteen is one of those artists who everybody’s heard, even if only in bars.  That was pretty much my experience of the man and his music.  As ubiquitous as his music is, I’ve frankly never had much serious exposure to it.  Listening to music in a bar is a blast, but it’s hardly the best way to experience it, especially if you want to gain a true appreciation for it.

What I noticed most of all listening to the albums (predominantly Born in The USA, Nebraska and Darkness on the Edge of Town), was that I was fairly familiar with some of the songs, not through jukebox plays, but because his songs have been covered quite a bit by a variety of artists.  Now, this isn’t a surprise.  An artist of his stature and longevity is obviously going to have a wide influence.  I’ve long loved Pete Yorn’s cover of “New York City Serenade,” but I (ignorantly) never realized that the Chromatics’ “I’m On Fire” was a Bruce Springsteen original.  Silly me.

That said, while there was a pleasant familiarity to many of the songs and the albums are clearly pop classics, I found myself most drawn to the stripped down and barren landscape of Nebraska.  Bruce’s voice over solo guitar – without the somewhat dated sounds of a backing band – feels very timeless.  I think that album could be released today and feel no less fresh, mainly because it sounds so old, but in a traditional sense.

Will I Buy An Album?  As I’ve already stated, Nebraska is my favorite of the albums I heard.  I can see myself putting it on and listening to it all the way through from time to time.  Considering the era it came out in, I can understand why Born in The USA was such a zeitgeist defining album, but for me it feels just too of its moment in time, whereas I think Nebraska will always feel relevant.  Maybe that’s just me.

Favorite Song: The opening title track of Nebraska is pretty great and feels like it could be a Dylan cover.  I’m always a sucker for a harmonica.  The album closes out with another favorite, the excellent “Reason to Believe,” swathed in plenty of harmonica.

Next Month: It’s dance music.  No, it’s punk music.  Stop, you’re both right.