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The Daily Guide - Waynesville, MO
Bruce Springsteen fans from Asbury Park and beyond blog about The Boss
‘Springsteen’s Greatest Albums’ excerpt: ‘Tunnel of Love’
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The writers of this blog are not music critics, and they don't consider a second (or third, fourth or fifth) mortgage to be a perfectly reasonable course of action to pay for front-row tickets, but despite being a whole lot more middle aged than ...
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Bruce Springsteen
The writers of this blog are not music critics, and they don't consider a second (or third, fourth or fifth) mortgage to be a perfectly reasonable course of action to pay for front-row tickets, but despite being a whole lot more middle aged than they were when they first put \x34Born in the U.S.A.\x34 or \x34The River\x34 down on the turntable, still feels like Bruce has something -- OK, a lot of things -- to say about our country and the way we live our lives, things that not a lot of other artists are saying. And whether he's talking about the knife that can cut this pain from your heart, the house that's waiting for you to walk in or what that flag flying over the courthouse means, he's nailing down feelings that are so universal that they can raise your spirits and break your heart at the same time. Plus, let¹s face it, the man rocks.
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By Pete Chianca
Jan. 14, 2013 5:05 p.m.



On Mondays through January, we’re continuing to post exclusive excerpts from Glory Days: Springsteen’s Greatest Albums, which analyzes eight of Springsteen’s most groundbreaking albums and then argues which one should be considered “the greatest.” This week, a selection from the chapter on “Tunnel of Love.”





At least a few of the songs point to the value in at least trying to ford the rough river of romantic relationships. The steady, martial drumbeat that starts off “Tougher Than The Rest” evokes the singer’s steely commitment to succeeding where others before him have failed, and an acknowledgement that love is only truly attainable if you’re willing to endure a long, hard slog to reach it. And even “All That Heaven Will Allow” – the album’s brightest track, sung in a hopeful warble – acknowledges the constant presence of “Mister Trouble.”

But much more of Tunnel of Love is dedicated to the ways that love is complicated, trust is fleeting and truly knowing someone is heart-wrenchingly difficult – sometimes impossible. The title track equates relationships with a dim, twisted carnival funhouse, an analogy that’s brilliantly simple and exquisitely executed: “the lights go out and it’s just the three of us,” Springsteen sings, “you, me and all that stuff we’re so scared of.” The way he shares harmonies both with himself, in a anguished overdub, and with Patti Scialfa’s echoing yelps only accentuates the number of hidden specters floating just beneath any relationship’s surface.

“Brilliant Disguise” takes that concept even further, with yet another protagonist in danger of seeing everything slip away when “out go the lights” – including his own sense of self. “I wanna know if it’s you I don’t trust, ’cause I damn sure don’t trust myself,” he laments, painting a revealing picture of a relationship whose loving appearance is only the result of perpetual, exhausting efforts – from both parties – to keep the darkness submerged.

Even starker is the plain-spoken “One Step Up,” almost matter-of-fact in the way it portrays a marriage dissolving before our eyes. Like in “Point Blank” – perhaps Springsteen’s direst relationship song up to that point – the dream of happier times that ends the song makes the current reality all the sadder.



You can download Glory Days: Springsteen’s Greatest Albums at Amazon or Amazon UK. And if you don’t have a Kindle, don’t worry: You can download free Kindle software here.

 

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