Album #511 – Nebraska

Album #511

Nebraska marked a change for The Boss. It was his first album to recorded entirely on a portable four track studio and, marks a change from songs of hope and redemption to a dark side that he would explore on occasion after Nebraska’s release in 1982. The songs are at their most raw and stripped down form. Engineers were worried the album wouldn’t be able to be released on vinyl because it was recorded too quietly. The songs off Nebraska were recorded by the E Street Band in a studio. But, after consideration Springsteen and his management felt the songs were better represented by the demos he recorded in his bedroom. The release of Nebraska is also interesting because Springsteen made an album which many didn’t see coming. His brand of rock touched many and he had been on a steady climb to the top since the release of Born to Run in 1975. But, Nebraska marks a change in style and substance. It could have been a disaster but, instead it made him a true artist. Kelly Clarkson compared her change in direction on My December to this album. It has influenced many in the Americana community and marks Springsteen’s first true folk album. These songs are best served by the sparseness of it all. Nebraska, Atlantic City, Johnny 99, State Trooper and Highway Patrolman are among my favorite Springsteen songs. The writing within them captures vignettes of life and at times, the songs become cinematic. I can picture easily in my mind the scenes that he portrays. This is a rare gift among songwriters and Bruce Springsteen demonstrates it here. Other highlights include: Mansion on the Hill, My Father’s House and Reason to Believe. Overall, I give Nebraska, 5 out of 5.

Next: Sulk by The Associates

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