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! Metamorpho ;)
- Publié sur Amazon.com
Well, no disguise on my part. I was going to write this review ages ago, however, I never placed it back properly in my archive and thus, it was missing for a long time. By channeling universal positive energy I found it again. I was led to it. Do you believe in such things? You ought to - plus I confirm it. How lucky can one be?
First off - I run the risk of getting into that old McCoys/Hatfields squabble about his music. I find that, with him, the camps are at vast opposites. Very little middle ground here. With me, I think he has done some remarkable music. But, again, some things he has presented don't always get a rave from me. I have issues with "Born in the U.S.A.", for example. But, I think from an analytical aspect, "Tunnel of Love" has got to be one of his best, introspective c.d.s.
I think with true talent, you have to place yourself outside of the common "me" factor. The ability to write from the human heart - and from various aspects and different persona, is a gift. Springsteen proves this, over and over again, with this thoughtful and inspired offering that begs analysis and examination to what is important to all of us. The quality of love.
It is amazing what he does here. These are folk tunes for sure. Some with acoustic and also with a band. But mostly folk tunes at their essence because of the lessons each tale tells. He touches on the unresolved self. The self that's so full of dreams, but so unsure of their stability once achieved. Throughout he brings us to the flights and highs of new love, through the uneasy complacency, to the illusions we put forth. He searchs for the answer of how we know love is real. There are no sure answers here. And, wisely, he does not attempt to answer it. He gives you the scenarios, the emotion and puzzles for you to figure out and how they pertain to your own existence. That is the genius here.
He begins with "Ain't Got You", a spare guitar and harmonica rave that sounds like it's Elvis inspired. Despite having everything, the subject is poor for not having the girl he really wants. Then it moves to the tough brag of "Tougher than the Rest", wherein the compelling beat and hymn-like keyboards portray a generous and self assured stance on courtship.
"All that Heaven Will Allow" is a sprightly, jaunty tune conveying the beginning of a new love. Conversely, we are then treated to the hoe-down of "Spare Parts" whereby the meter is juxtaposed against a sadness of a girl whose boyfriend deserts her after her child is born and before they were to marry. The only value from the relationship? A wedding dress and an engagement ring she could hock. The coldness of sad reality sets in.
A melancholy acoustic follows next, "Cautious Man", that reveals an honest, working man, whose uncertainty in love continues to haunt him through his life. Caught in-between "love" and "fear", which are tatooed on his knuckles, this is a rich analogy to his own self-imprisonment.
Bruce ponders the ability to sustain love when, while viewing a wedding he wonders "Well would they look so happy again, the handsome groom and his bride", in "Walk Like a Man". But, he knows it will take courage as he has learned from his father. A heartfelt ode to say the least.
"Tunnel of Love" beautifully juxtaposes a carnival ride to a love relationship. A boardwalk musical aria permeates this song. It is an uneasy situation because "there's just the three of us - you and me and all that stuff we're so scared of". And, with this, the underlying motif that "It's easy for two people to lose each other in this tunnel of love". Sadly, that is the truth in this c.d.
"Two Faces" is a study of a man's personality and how a side of him has sabotaged his relationship. The conflict of what we want and how our actions betray our motives. "Brilliant Disguise" is brilliant in every regard. He begs many questions here: is your love showing her real self to you and, finally, are you doing that as well? The tune and the hook fall into place perfectly with this song. "Have mercy on the man, who doubts what he's sure of", meaning, to me at least, that there is never a moment when one should be complacent in love.
As an aside I should point out that these songs are snap shots that provide many aspects of love. He shows you the dark clouds circling overhead and shows you your own fragility in dealing with the questions here, as well as his own.
The rest of the c.d deals with a broken relationship ("One Step Up") and the dream of when it was real, the desolation of loneliness ("When You're Alone") that deals with his despair and, eventually, his ex-lover's as well.
In closing, the soft and melancholy "Valentine's Day" which, so aptly portrays the nightmare of the soul that one feels when one is in love. Written, ironically, as a comfortable melody, his main anguish is "what scares me is losing you". And thus closes an incredible work, which I think is one of his very best.
Say what you will about Springsteen, but it is a difficult thing to put your personal feelings out there in a universal, meaningful way. He does this. And he does this in such a relevant way, delving deep into his humanity, and ours as well. This one is truthful reflection. Hard to take, I know, but so essential. One of his very best people!
I think I need a brandy---cheers! ------Metamorpho ;)