Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Early review #1: Booklist

The following review appears in Booklist:

As the subtitle makes clear, this is about Bruce Springsteen's music; its perspective is that of a self-proclaimed "literate fan." Throughout, Guterman addresses Springsteen's strength--his consistency--and weakness--his musical conservatism. Though the curtain rises on the controversial Vote for Change 2004 tour, when Springsteen and like-minded musicians crisscrossed the country for Democratic presidential challenger John Kerry, Guterman comments on Springsteen's body of work: the "friendliness" of Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J., the optimism of Born to Run, and so forth. He discusses Bruce the Artist, who mostly pleases himself, and Bruce the Performer, everyman's favorite rock and roller, and how these "Two Bruces" have taken turns throughout his career, one releasing pure artistic statements, and the other blatantly commercial product. He dissects even such stinkers as Human Touch ("boring" and full of "genuinely not-good songs"), seeming surprised, indeed almost offended, that Springsteen could have a bad record in him. Still, Guterman points out, in almost every live performance, Springsteen lives up to impossibly high standards. A must for Bruce fans. - June Sawyers

© 2005 American Library Association.