Album Review: Only the Strong Survive by Bruce Springsteen
Great, Based on 3 Critics
musicOMH.com - 80 Based on rating 4
Essentially, this is The Boss doing karaoke. But when it’s done this well and with so much obvious love for the source material, it’s irresistible What do you if you’re seventy-something, have written some of the greatest songs in history, you’ve sold your back catalogue for a tidy sum, and your place in the annals of cultural history is assured? Well, if you’re Bruce Springsteen, you go and throw a party. Only The Strong Survive is the sound of The Boss kicking off his shoes and having a bit of a laugh.
When his multi-decade shift at the docks of rock is over and done, New Jersey's most beloved son will go down as one of the greatest and most universally admired performers to ever roll up his sleeves, strap on a telecaster and shout "1,2,3,4!" Bruce Springsteen isn't just an institution. To his multitudinous hardcore fans he's the head of a religion, albeit one whose teachings can be contradictory. He's the voice of the world's working classes who by his own admission never had a real job in his life; the socialist singer who filled stadiums and made millions on the majors; the man who wrote anti-war anthem "Born in the USA" only to see it co-opted as a right wing chant of jingoism, and spoke of "Racing in the Streets" before he had a driver's license.
Bruce Springsteen does soul… it's always been there; The Boss has always been a fantastic soul singer, but has always gravitated towards his own brand of anthemic heartland rock. But, truth be told, his soul roots have never really been fully explored, until now. Yes, there have been flirtations with other genres on 2006's covers folk-Dixieland infused album 'We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions' , but 'Only The Strong Survive', his 21st album, is a deep dive into the world of soul, Tamla and R&B.