Butler County Times Gazette
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 Born in the U.S.A. or The River 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, lets 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 singers steely commitment to succeeding where others before him have failed, and an acknowledgement that love is only truly attainable if youre willing to endure a long, hard slog to reach it. And even All That Heaven Will Allow the albums 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 thats brilliantly simple and exquisitely executed: the lights go out and its just the three of us, Springsteen sings, you, me and all that stuff were so scared of. The way he shares harmonies both with himself, in a anguished overdub, and with Patti Scialfas echoing yelps only accentuates the number of hidden specters floating just beneath any relationships 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 its you I dont trust, cause I damn sure dont 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 Springsteens 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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