Working on a Dream [Limited Ed.]

( 6 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
From its bright, brittle production to its tossed-off postage stamp cover art, Working on a Dream is in every respect a companion piece to Magic, an album that's merely a set of songs, both sprawling and deliberately small, songs that don't necessarily tackle any one major theme but all add up to a portrait of their time. Magic chronicled the dog days of Bush where Working on a Dream is designed as a keynote to the Obama age, released just a week after the inauguration of the U.S.'s 44th president and not coincidentally containing not a little optimism within its 13 tracks. This sense of hope is a tonic to the despair that crept into the margins of Magic but ...
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Note: Watch a video of "Working on a Dream"

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
From its bright, brittle production to its tossed-off postage stamp cover art, Working on a Dream is in every respect a companion piece to Magic, an album that's merely a set of songs, both sprawling and deliberately small, songs that don't necessarily tackle any one major theme but all add up to a portrait of their time. Magic chronicled the dog days of Bush where Working on a Dream is designed as a keynote to the Obama age, released just a week after the inauguration of the U.S.'s 44th president and not coincidentally containing not a little optimism within its 13 tracks. This sense of hope is a tonic to the despair that crept into the margins of Magic but it's easy to posit Working on a Dream as pure positivity, which isn't exactly true: a hangover from W lingers, most vividly in the broken spirit of "The Wrestler," and Bruce mourning departed E Street Band member Danny Federici with "The Last Carnival." Springsteen peppers his tribute with images recalling the early days of the E Street Band but saves a revival of their wild, woolly sound for the opening "Outlaw Pete," a cavernous, circular, comical epic reminiscent of Springsteen's unwieldy portraits of rats on the Jersey Shore. "Outlaw Pete" is Working on a Dream at its best, playing like nothing less than The E Street Shuffle as reflected and refracted through Arcade Fire's naked hero worship, casually highlighting how producer Brendan O'Brien has gently nudged the Boss toward new musical avenues. Many of these new sounds are drawn from the past, often feeling informed by Little Steven's Underground Garage -- Van Zandt and Nils Lofgren's guitars chime like the Byrds; the band knocks out a tough little blues number on "Good Eye"; and Springsteen shows a knack for pure pop on "Surprise, Surprise" and indulges his ever-increasing Brian Wilson fascination on "This Life," whose percolating organs and harmonies rival the High Llamas. All this rests nicely alongside the Boss' trademarks -- galloping rockers that fill a stadium ("My Lucky Day") and their polar opposite, his intimate acoustic tunes ("Tomorrow Never Knows") -- which all make Working on a Dream read like a rich, inventive, musical album...which it is, to an extent. The ideas and intent are there, but the album is hampered slightly by the overall modesty of Springsteen's writing -- by and large, these are small-scale songs and feel that way -- and hurt significantly by the precise, digital production that muffles the music's imagination and impact. A large part of Springsteen's appeal has always been how the E Street Band has sounded as big and open as his heart, but Working on a Dream, like Magic before it, has a production that feels tiny and constrained even as it is layered with extraneous details. It's possible to listen around this production and hear the modest charms of the songs, but the album would be better if the sound matched the sentiment. [This limited-edition version includes a bonus DVD.]
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/27/2009
  • Label: Sony
  • UPC: 886974393122
  • Catalog Number: 743931
  • Sales rank: 143,248

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Outlaw Pete (8:00)
  2. 2 My Lucky Day (4:00)
  3. 3 Working on a Dream (3:29)
  4. 4 Queen of the Supermarket (4:39)
  5. 5 What Love Can Do (2:56)
  6. 6 This Life (4:30)
  7. 7 Good Eye (3:00)
  8. 8 Tomorrow Never Knows (2:13)
  9. 9 Life Itself (4:00)
  10. 10 Kingdom of Days (4:02)
  11. 11 Surprise, Surprise (3:24)
  12. 12 The Last Carnival (3:29)
  13. 13 The Wrestler (3:50)
Disc 2
  1. 1 My Lucky Day
  2. 2 Queen of the Supermarket
  3. 3 Kingdom of Days
  4. 4 Tomorrow Never Knows/What Love Can Do/This Life
  5. 5 Life Itself
  6. 6 Working on a Dream
  7. 7 The Last Carnival
  8. 8 End Credits
  9. 9 A Night With the Jersey Devil
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Bruce Springsteen Primary Artist, Guitar, Harmonica, Percussion, Glockenspiel, Keyboards, Vocals
Nils Lofgren Guitar, Vocals
Clarence Clemons Saxophone, Vocals
Patti Scialfa Vocals
Roy Bittan Organ, Piano, Accordion
Danny Federici Organ
Garry Tallent Bass, Bass Guitar
Soozie Tyrell Violin, Vocals
Patrick Warren Piano, Keyboards
Max Weinberg Drums
Steve VanZandt Guitar, Vocals
Jason Federici Accordion
Technical Credits
Bruce Springsteen Composer
Barbara Carr Management
Nick DiDia Engineer
Jon Landau Management
Bob Ludwig Mastering, Remastering
Brendan O'Brien Producer, Audio Production
Toby Scott Engineer
Billy Bowers Engineer
David Bett Art Direction
Christopher Austopchuk Art Direction
Danny Clinch Cover Photo
Eddie Horst Horn Arrangements, String Arrangements
Michelle Holme Art Direction
Tom Syrowski Engineer
Alison Oscar Management
Thom Zimny Director, Producer
Sophia Pecora Management
Edward Horst Arranger
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(3)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Brilliant

    As usual, Springsteen continuously puts out quality work!!!! HE is The Boss, The ONLY Boss I listen to!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Working on a Dream

    Great follow up to Magic - the theme differently carries over. Wonderful harmonies again thanks to Brendan O'Brien.

    Take note to the lyrics in "This Life", "Queen of the Supermarket" and "Life Itself" - all are very powerful. Bruce has just gotten better with age!

    It's take note of Jason Federici on "The Last Carnival" - it's like Danny never left us.....

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Working On A Dream

    This is the best ever that Bruce has produced. You just want to listen to it over and over again! It is worth every penny. The DVD is wonderful, also -And that's an understatement. This IS your masterpiece, Bruce.<BR/><BR/>chookio

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews