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Working on a Dream Import

304 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, January 27, 2009
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Editorial Reviews

2009 album by one of the finest American songwriters of his generation. Working on a Dream was recorded with the E Street Band and features 12 new Springsteen compositions plus a bonus track: 'The Wrestler'. . It is the fourth collaboration between Springsteen and Brendan O'Brien, who produced and mixed the album. Springsteen also wrote an eponymous song for Darren Aronofsky's 2008 film The Wrestler. The song, also titled 'The Wrestler' won the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song. SBME. 2009.


1. Outlaw Pete
2. My Lucky Day
3. Working On a Dream
4. Queen of the Supermarket
5. What Love Can Do
6. This Life
7. Good Eye
8. Tomorrow Never Knows
9. Life Itself
10. Kingdom of Days
11. Surprise, Surprise
12. The Last Carnival
13. The Wrestler (Bonus Track)

Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 27, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Columbia
  • ASIN: B001LF4IA6
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (304 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,985 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

102 of 128 people found the following review helpful By jhl VINE VOICE on January 29, 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I read a Springsteen interview once where he noted that his fans don't seem to like his music when he's happy. I thought then - and I think now - that even his serious albums have music that makes me happier than anything else I've ever heard, and I don't mean just Thunder Road or Born to Run, but Open All Night (Dublin Live) or Maria's Bed (Devils & Dust).

So I'm sorry to say that I'm yet another one of those long-time Springsteen fans who's disappointed in this album. The Bruce I love seems to sing directly to the audience, but in this CD, as in Magic, he sounds about 10 miles away, with a lot of noise between us. I have to say I think this album is worse than Magic, however, because there's not a single song that makes you want to get up and rock, and only the Wrestler genuinely touches your emotions. Are we having fun or do we care when we listen to this? When the answer to both is no then the album comes nowhere near Bruce's usual standards. Outlaw Pete is the closest we can get to enjoyment, but Supermarket Queen and Surprise Surprise are so cheesy that I'm embarrassed to listen to them. And the album is unusually unvaried (read: boring), with nearly every song at a similar volume and tempo.

Bruce still has plenty of energy in concert - I saw him last in August when he was outstanding - but he sounds pretty tired here. And, as others have mentioned, the E-Street band might be credited, but I can't hear them. He's always had ups and downs, so we can keep our fingers crossed for Better Days...
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Rickel on February 25, 2010
Format: Audio CD
I didn't latch on to Springsteen when I was a kid despite the popularity of Born in the USA when I was six (I sure did love Dancing in the Dark, though). I recall liking Human Touch (the song) when it was released, but it wasn't until I got out of high school that I realized there was more to The Boss due to Secret Garden being such a big part of the Jerry Maguire advertising campaign. That song refused to leave my head and so I purchased Greatest Hits, knowing only Hungry Heart, Born In The USA, Glory Days, Dancing In The Dark, Human Touch, Secret Garden, and Streets of Philadelphia. That made it easy to validate the purchase, but when I actually listened to the whole thing I realized there was much more, though it took me a couple of more years until I explored Springsteen more fully.

When I finally got Born To Run and popped it in to a CD player I was mesmerized. I love music. I love what a song or a good album can do, but I'd never been TAKEN somewhere before. I'd never just been sucked into a different world by an album. By a book, yes. By a film, yes. And here was Bruce Springsteen just taking me away. The experience was exhilarating. Upon exploration I did find another Boss album capable of doing that - The Wild, The Innocent, and The E-Street Shuffle. And that's not meant as an indictment on his other work, but those two albums feel very cohesive and they really flow and take you from scene to scene. I may like Darkness On The Edge Of Town better than either (or not, have trouble ranking them), but it is not cinematic like those two.

And that brings me to Working On A Dream. I avoided it for over a year for some reason. I think that my enthusiasm for Springsteen had quieted down a bit.
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34 of 41 people found the following review helpful By K. Casey on January 30, 2009
Format: Audio CD
I am a die-hard Bruce fan and I generally fall in love with anything he writes...but this is quite possibly the worst of all his albums. There are some pretty good tunes on here - "The Wrestler," "Working on a Dream," "Outlaw Pete" - but there are many awkwardly bad ones. I want to like "My Lucky Day" and "Queen of the Supermarket," but the lyrics are irrevocably hokey, something you don't expect from Bruce. "What Love Can Do" and "This Life" are just flat and boring. "Surprise, Surprise" is one of the worst songs he has ever written. He says he worked on this album quickly, and it shows. I'm certainly disappointed.

UPDATE: Here I am months later in May and I still think this is the worst album Bruce has ever put out. I can appreciate everything he's done from Before the Fame right up through Magic (the list of my ten favorite Bruce albums includes an even mix of 70s, 80s, and his modern stuff)...but I can't make it through this album. I'm going to see Bruce in New Jersey this week (my 5th concert) and I'm SO grateful that he only seems to be playing 2-3 songs a night from "Working on a Nightmare!"
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45 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Samuel Shabrin on January 28, 2009
Format: Audio CD
Like Magic, Working On A Dream is a good collection of songs, some stronger than others, but great to hear Springsteen's creative juices are still flowing. Also like Magic, it's too bad the recording is so compressed that it hurts to listen to it. Strangled cymbals, organ that sound like it's being played through a toilet paper roll, background singers that are singing... something- can't make out a melody...

Unlike Magic, I am hoping a 5.1 surround mix is released so I can actually hear and distinguish the drums, organ, guitar, strings, bass, instead of hearing "drumsorganguitarstringsbass".
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47 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Wezzo on January 27, 2009
Format: Audio CD
Optimism and Springsteen haven't gelled well in the past. "Human Touch" and "Lucky Town", the 1992 two-fer that saw Bruce waxing truly optimistic for the first time in his career, rate among the least memorable efforts of his career; they weren't bad, per se, but they lacked a certain something. (The songs were recorded without the E Street Band, which was undoubtedly a contributing factor; but above and beyond that, the arrangements and lyrics suffered from a certain sameiness and genericism that left the majority of the tracks unmemorable.)

Fans will be pleased to know that, while "Working On A Dream" (Columbia, 2009) sees Bruce once again venture into the realm of the positive, he's both a) with E Street this time and b) kept his songwriting skills on top form.

The first thing longtime Springsteen fans will notice about this album is that the focus here is firmly on the music. The album is bookended by two of his more narrative-driven songs - eight-minute epic Western "Outlaw Pete" and Golden Globe-winning movie theme "The Wrestler" - but elsewhere, it's all about the sonic experimentation, rather than storytelling. The songs here hop across a veritable plethora of genres and styles: "My Lucky Day" is a foot-stomping rocker that sounds like it was written in the "River" sessions. "Tomorrow Never Knows" is a beautiful easy-listening tune that sounds more like the '50s than anything Bruce has ever written. "Working On A Dream" is an Orbison-esque plush pop tune. "Good Eye" is what can only be described as electronic rockabilly.

This variety makes the album one of the most enjoyable listens in Bruce's history.
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Is this as muddy as magic? Worse?
While it may be true that as a general natural law, the hearing of rockers declines by 30-some odd years later, I for one like the sound on "Working on a Dream." I think there IS distinction in the songs, which are generally quite good. I'm not sure what 'compressed' means, and I am... Read More
Jun 26, 2009 by Chen Kai Wen |  See all 2 posts
The album cover
Interesting that you think that. I think the cover and the whole packaging of the deluxe cd (I don't know if it's any different from the regular cd) is beautiful. My favorite Bruce album cover of the past 20 years. One of the tour posters I saw was gorgeous also.
Jan 27, 2009 by Bornintime |  See all 5 posts
old school BRUCE with E at last !!
Totally disagree.

I would tell Bruce "Don't live in the WAS, live in the IS" ... this sounds like the 'was'. I do like "The Wrestler", though.

But enjoy it if you like, we can disagree. Peace
Feb 5, 2009 by p |  See all 3 posts
The Wrestler
Great Great Song...!!!!! And the Oscar goes to ..... Bruce, definitly.... ;)
Dec 30, 2008 by Gustavo Anaya |  See all 6 posts
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