We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions review by Bruce Springsteen

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  • Released: Apr 25, 2006
  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 7.1 (51 votes)
Bruce Springsteen: We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions

Sound — 10
Bruce Springsteen is a man of great genius as he has shown down through the years with ranging genres of music. Electric to Acoustic and so forth. Next stop for Bruce: Folk. Springsteen had recorded the classic "We Shall Overcome", a song sang by countless unions and groups who have been fighting against their oppressers, for a compilation CD a year or two ago. He enjoyed it so much that he decided to get the band he used for that very recording back together to make their own album. The result: a fantastic CD made by a genius and a band of incredible talant. Made in Springsteen's own house, the sound is supurb. The strings section play with extreme supremecy and the horn section blew me away. Bruce himself showcases what an excellent vocalist he is. He sings in a different style for nearly every song. Each style suits each song prefectly. The backing vocalists, including Bruce's wife Patti Scialfa, are amazing. Their talant is most clearly shown in the track "Oh Mary Don't You Weep". Despite my best efforts to find fault with the sound. You can't find fault with perfection. Great sound from a great band.

Lyrics — 10
The lyrics in this album are classic cases of folk music. They range from the uplifting never-say-die spirit of "We Shall Overcome" to the storytelling of "John Henry" to the religious side in "Jacob's Ladder" to the plain bizarre in "Froggie Went A Courtin'". This song tells the story of a mouse marrying a frog. Bruce Springsteen actually left out a verse involving the mouse giving birth to "furry little tadpoles". Apparently he wasn't so keen on that concept. The lyrics are compelling and, at times, humorous. As the songs date back as far as 1549, they are maybe a little dated. However, the man-against-machine aspect of "John Henry" are certainly still relevent to today as are "We Shall Overcome" and, in reference to New Orleans, "Oklahoma Home". Because of the range, the insight into the happenings of the old times and, of course, Springsteen's magic touch I must give full marks to this section.

Overall Impression — 10
Because this album is a completly different genre to Sringsteen's earlier work it would not be right to compare them to The Seeger Sessions. I will say this though. This album has just as much passion, if not more, than the others. This is probably due to the fact that it was recorded while the whole band were playing giving it an almost live feel. The stand-out tracks for me were "Oh Mary Don't You Weep", "John Henry", "Erie Canal", "My Oklahoma Home", "We Shall Overcome" and "Froggie Went A Courtin'". That said I still love every other track. Also, other people I know who have heard this album have had different stand-out tracks so you really have to hear for yourself. What do I love?: Everything. What do I hate?: The way Bruce pronounces "McGrath". I'm Irish and I know the correct way. Anyway, If this was stolen/lost I would most definietly get it again. It will be classic. I would urge all the at least listen to this as well as the younger of us. I am fifteen and before this I probably would have never have listened this type of music. This album has opened my ears to a whole new genre so don't write this off. Bruce Springsteen has struck gold again and long may he continue to churn out this high quality of music. Before I close up I must congratulate the band. They are just brilliant and with Bruce heading them they are remarkable. A groundbraking album. Top Ten for The Seeger Sessions.

8 comments sorted by best / new / date

    cracking album, first heard it on my german exchange so i'm sure it will bring back memories. 10/10
    I saw the tour when he came to Boston, in late may i think it was, what an awesome live show. I especially like the song pay me my money down.