If it bums you out that other people don’t like the latest songs, you might want to stay away. This is for everyone who’s bummed because they don’t like them. Or, you know, just me.
Ghosts starts out well enough. Although it is the exact same intro as We Take Care of Our Own (there are more similarities between the two songs, I think) at least the drums sound terrific. I don’t remember the last time a Bruce record with the band had drums sounding like drums.
But then, when it comes in... oh boy, what a letdown. There’s nothing specifically wrong. It’s not the “your love and I’m alive” echoing the much greater The Fuse (“your kiss and I’m alive”), it’s not the production (I love the sound of the drums and to actually be able to hear the guitars).
But this, this sounds like someone tried to write a song that would sound like Bruce. It’s generic. It’s clichéd and you can see exactly what he is going for in terms of how it will/would translate live. Everything sounds planned for live performance and I don’t like it. Even the horribly compressed vocals at the very end mimicking the riff.
This, like the song before, sounds to me like Bruce exploiting sentimental nostalgia, mythologising his own Past.
I don’t care for the lyrics (“voice/rejoice”, “ghost moving through the night”, “your spirit filled with light”), it’s an AI software came up with Bruce-like lyrics. And I particularly dislike the predictable Who-like quiet bridge.
But there’s one more thing. Maybe the most important thing. I absolutely can’t stand this nostalgia. I don’t like it when Bruce looks back because it feels like he’s looking the wrong way. That’s not what I need from music. And that’s definitely not what I need from Bruce. I don’t want to be emotional looking at montages with old footage. I want to be emotional about things that are relevant now.
I can see where you don't like this TJ, just based on reading your tastes over the years. If it doesn't speak to you then it doesn't, the lyrics on this one don't do much for me at this point but thumps up on the song in almost every other aspect.
You've spelled out clearly why you don't like it, that's much more than it "sucks" - though nothing wrong with that either, my biggest gripe is when people give a nice analysis of why they don't like something and someone comes along and tells us we're "overthinking" it. How do they know what we're doing, they are simply uncomfortable with us not taking to it. How does one overthink something in music anyway? If we don't like it, we normally have reasons why, there's no overthought involved.
I'm off to watch 12 Angry Men, yet again, because you guys reminded me above that it is a damn fine movie that.
I find it illuminating.
But then, I'm old...
@Tom Joad, forgive me for getting personal, but are you afraid of getting old and taking stock of your life? Because that is what older people do. It's an inevitable process, and it can be rewarding if there are things in you past worth evaluating. Bruce is mining his life experience, and if it doesn't resonate with you now, perhaps in some years it will.
I really now want to be able to read the lyrics to all the songs without listening. I did that with Letter to You and understood it better. I don't think I will do that with this song - that will be one pleasure I can defer until 23rd October!
I care about Bruce as a person. Strangely so, because I have never exchanged so much as a word. I get that, for the better part of his career, Bruce has been sorting out his own issues. But his trick, the thing he was/is really good at is to get universality from detail. I don’t need to have ever spent a day in New Jersey to understand Born to Run. I didn’t need to work a single day in my life to be affected by Factory. And I certainly don’t need to even know what the BLM is to be moved by Chasin’ Wild Horses.
This time (like with the Broadway thing), I just don’t see that. There’s no universality, there’s just him. Very literally him trying to sound like himself. And although I understand why he’d want to make this album like this, I simply don’t think he had the songs in him. And that is not something I can artistically respect.