Sunday, April 20, 2014

American Beauty

This year's Bruce Springsteen Record Store Day exclusive is an EP of four never-before-released tracks, outtakes from High Hopes.

1. American Beauty - This Spector-inspired production has a similar garage-sounding groove to Frankie Fell In Love and My Lucky Day, but slower. Bruce sings in a rather high register throughout. If you listen close enough, you can hear him rehashing a couple of familiar lyrical phrases from the past decade. Should sound great live, especially with such a cool outtro. 

2. Mary Mary - Average song at best, because it sounds too much like Leah (an excellent one by the way), with shades of We Take Care Of Our Own.

3. Hurry Up Sundown - Fantastic lively tune which brings to mind some of the upbeat ones from The River, and it would've fitted nicely on High Hopes. It contains some interesting chord progressions reminiscent of late '80s R.E.M., and just a little bit of Husker Du in there. The only thing I don't dig is Bruce's over-processed vocals.

4. Hey Blue Eyes - Politically charged lyrics that mixes the personal with the serious context of the time. Could've come out of the Devils & Dust era. The music grows on you. I think High Hopes would've been a better album had it been included.

Bruce and the band (with Tom Morello and sans Little Steven) are currently on a short North American tour which is due to end next month. But that doesn't mean there's nothing else planned for the rest of the year. This is just mere speculation and there are no rumors yet, but I'm sure at least one of the following things is bound to happen:

- Another North American tour later in the year, this time covering the major Springsteen markets

- A brand new album with brand new songs (with the E Street Band) released by Christmas or early next year, which will definitely lead to another tour of the States and of course, Europe next summer (I doubt they'll tour Australia for a third year in a row, but I'm hoping)

- Archival Release: The River boxset or Born In The USA boxset released just in time for the holiday season. Jon Landau also mentioned that previous shows would be part of the official bootleg program, and if that's so, the Wrecking Ball tour is the most likely choice to begin with

- Live Album/Concert Film: Only the Melbourne #2 bootleg has not been released yet, which could possibly mean it's being treated for a live release, and there are several good reasons why this could be....the Born To Run album was performed (huge selling point), it was a very long, not to mention unique show (3 hrs 50 mins), the setlist contained several Wrecking Ball songs (to perhaps make up for the fact that there has been no full Wrecking Ball show released on video yet, who knows?), it was a stadium show, and it's in Australia (another selling point)

- Bruce ditches the E Street Band, for a while, and does another Seeger Sessions project, and tours to support it