Perhaps Bruce's most underrated record
ctrx | 'bout to show you how the EAST COAST rocks... | 06/19/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Rock icon Bruce Springsteen recorded "Human Touch" in 1990 but shelved the project until he completed Lucky Town in 1992, deciding to release both albums together. In light of its predecessor, 1988's somber, personal, and emotional Tunnel of Love, "Human Touch" is generally happy and upbeat, consisting of clever, thoughtful rock songs, as well as some of his best guitar playing highlighted in the E Street Band's absence. Bruce and his crew of studio musicians execute a 59-minute record with few dull moments and many memorable ones. For the most part it doesn't have the power of his legendary classics, nor does it try to; they are light, enjoyable songs. Overall it's a great sounding record and might surprise some listeners because it is so overlooked.
It opens brilliantly, with the wondrous title track, a classic single with ingenious writing and playing, the phenomenal "Soul Driver," and the great statement that is "57 Channels (And Nothin' On)." "Gloria's Eyes," "Roll of the Dice," and "Real World" are steady-rocking and well-written winners, and "All or Nothin' At All," "The Long Goodbye," and the swinging "Real Man" also succeed radiantly at an upbeat tempo. The solemn ballads "With Every Wish," marked by muted trumpet instrumentation, and "I Wish I Were Blind" sound like leftovers from Tunnel of Love and are also vintage Bruce. Perhaps the best song, though, is "Man's Job," a simply excellent rock `n roll love song. The album also closes with a charming rendition of folk classic "Pony Boy."
"Human Touch" may feel somewhat insubstantial in light of everything that preceded it, but it is an endlessly solid album of well-written, pleasant rock songs with some truly great moments and Bruce's inimitable soul. Springsteen fans should not hesitate to own this collection."