Nebraska Review

artist: Bruce Springsteen date: 04/03/2006 category: compact discs
Bruce Springsteen: Nebraska
Release Date: Sep 20, 1982
Label: Columbia
Genres: Folk-Rock, Album Rock, Singer/Songwriter, Heartland Rock, Alternative Folk
Number Of Tracks: 10
Nebraska was one of the most challenging albums ever released by a major star on a major record label.
 Sound: 10
 Lyrics: 10
 Overall Impression: 10
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overall: 10
Nebraska Reviewed by: JackWhite1988, on april 03, 2006
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Sound: Nebraska is totally Bruce Springsteen, no E Street band to be found on this album. The album was literally recorded on a Teac Tascam Series 144 4-track cassette recorder. Bruce played all the instruments on this album. Not alot of electric influence on this one. Bare bones is all this album is about. The sound however, and the rawness really plays well with the dark lyrics of this fictional world of characters Bruce illustrates on Nebraska. A heavily produced sound would ruin this album. Take that last bit for what it's worth. // 10

Lyrics: You can always count on Bruce to give us an upbeat interpretation on the USA. If you buy this album expecting a catchy "Born In The USA" romp with big production, you're going to be sorely mistaken. That's not what Bruce was going for with this album lyrically. Nebraska is probably one of the best folk style albums of all-time simply because of the absurd honesty in the lyrics. The title track was a first-person account of the killing spree of mass murderer Charlie Starkweather who's story ironically was told in Terrence Malick's 1973 "Badlands" (title of a Bruce Springsteen song, coincidence? I think not). "Highway Patrolman" (later covered by Johnny Cash) is about a police officer who has a brother that's a trouble maker but he always lets his brother off for whatever small, moronic mistake he makes on the weekends. However the perspective from the "Patrolman" shows us that his brother has engaged in a murder and the once the realization hits the patrolman that it was his brother who committed the crime, he engages in a pursuit of his brother which ultimately ended with him crossing the state lines and the patrolman pulling off on the side of the road watching his brothers tail-lights disappear into the horizon. These are just a couple examples of this dark, Stephen King-esque world the Boss puts us in. // 10

Overall Impression: Bruce Springsteen has managed to make three albums like this. Nebraska was of course the first of Bruce's solo efforts that typically revolve around a conceptual ficitional world involving several characters. Like 1995's "The Ghost Of Tom Joad" and the most recent release "Devi's & Dust," Nebraska was the album to set the standard and it is heralded as one of the best singer/songwriter albums of all-time simply for its lyrical brilliance. The haunting harmonica had to be used intentionally by Bruce for the eerie effect. The only hit off of this album is "Atlantic City" but I can assure you that out of 10 songs on Nebraska there are no disposable songs. The characters in this album are small-time criminals, desperate people and those who love them. The music business has an old idea that the first demos of many of a musicians songs are the best versions even compared to the produced, polished off versions. Bruce Springsteen is one of the first artists to act on this theory. If you're feeling blue, this album is for you. // 10

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