Very Good, Very Soild, but not a Springsteen Classic
Brian L. Howard | Florence, SC | 02/04/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This has a few overlooked gems mixed with a little filler, but falls short because it lacks the personality of E-Street. I'm a big fan of his other solo (acoustic) work. But on an album with a full band, it's just a little bland to hear Bruce and not be able to picture Max, Clarence, and others by his side. In addition, the production is too slick for Springsteen's earthy voice and lyrics. The Big Muddy is a prime example of a song that could have used a more organic approach. "Lucky Town" is a must for fans, but others should start with "Born to Run", "Born in the USA," or even "The Rising."
With that said, the 4.99 price is definitely worth it, and you can load these on your iPod:
1. Better Days
2. Lucky Town
4. If I Should Fall Behind
5. Leap of Faith
8. Book of Dreams
10. My Beautiful Reward"
A Truly Great Bruce Springsteen Record.
Anthony Nasti | Staten Island, New York United States | 05/02/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The second of two albums he released in 1992, "Lucky Town" is head and shoulders above "Human Touch." Where "Human Touch" falters, "Lucky Town" soars. "Human Touch" has about four truly great songs, "Lucky Town" is almost a top to bottom succession of top tier Springsteen songs. The only true flaw is that the backing musicians on the record lack the power of E Street, but aside from that, it's a solid record that holds its own against his more popular records.
The first three song alone shatter the notion that Springsteen had lost his touch with "Human Touch": "Better Days," the title song, and "Local Hero" are three explosive, jovial rockers with Springsteen in fine voice and the lyrics and music meet his standard perfect. "Better Days" in particular has some of his best and most honest lyrics, and Bruce sings it with amazing force and sincerity. "Local Hero" is a humorous take on the impact of "Born in the U.S.A." and the baggage of the icon status he achieved with it.
"If I Should Fall Behind" slows down the pace, a touching love song about commitment and trust. The album version is a little to slight, but Bruce has reinvented many times in concert since then (most notably on the Reunion Tour), and its power and beauty has become far more apparent in those versions.
"Leap of Faith" is a great gospel rocker (with some admittedly semi-blasphemous lyrics) about finding faith in love again, and Bruce has really sang with such apparent joy and mischief in his voice. "The Big Muddy" is a great song that I admittedly find at odds with the themes present on the rest of the record. It's a song of seedy situations and their dire consequences, which jar with the presence of faith, love and redemption that permeate the rest of the record. Still, it's a great, great song with an outstanding arrangement.
"Living Proof" is beyond words. One of the absolute best songs he's ever written, as good as anything from "Born to Run" or "Nebraska." A gutwrenching celebration of the birth of his first son, Evan, delivered with a vocal so raw and passionate it sounds like he's crying tears of joy. This is a far cry from "Sherry Darling" or "Darlington County." This is Bruce coming full circle, finding life's simple pleasures in its most complex and important task (parenthood) and entering a stage of maturity, self reflection and dedication that would imprint itself upon his future works.
'Souls of the Departed" is, like "The Big Muddy," a departure from the majority of the record, a harsh commentary on gang violence in his newfound home of L.A., though Bruce does express fears for the safety of his children in the bridge. The lyrics are a tad trite, but it's still a potent, gritty rocker worthy of The Boss's talents.
The gorgeous "My Beautiful Reward" closes the record on a sombre but upbeat note. His soul is still searching, but he's at ease now with the search. There is some particularly lovely guitar work on this one, and the lyrics are again some of his strongest.
"Lucky Town" is as good a record as most of Springsteen's output, a truly great collection of songs that bristle with soul and passion, sung by a man who knows how to interpret with them. Truly a terrific album."