Most helpful critical review
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Solid.....but not fantastic.
on November 12, 2002
Okay, before everyone shouts to me, "You're not an American if you don't love this album!!!" this record is a good, solid, and mature effort, and a welcome relief to the disposable teeny pop we've all suffered through for five plus years.
However, this isn't the classic it's being hailed as. Bruce tries to go for the gold with a concept album of sorts and he falls short, but not for lack of trying. The main problem is his lyrics. Too many times he uses the same phrases or the same key words "faith," "hope," "strength," and granted, he's always had a fondness for them, but now it's on serious overload. And the album is WAY too long. 15 songs, over 70 minutes, it's too much. And given how some of these songs are forgettable, a little trimming would've helped the overall album.
But let's get to the good stuff: the title track, "Lonesome Day," "Into the Fire" are all great songs, lyrically, melodically, and musically. But we start getting into problems when the burden of recreating the feelings of loss and bewilderment nearly crush him. And that's when the lyrics get weaker, b/c they are the same lyrics of the previous track. "Give me your kiss...." "Your love, your dream...." It cheapens the overall effect he's going for. And I'll be honest, concept records don't work for me b/c they are too restricted. And "The Rising" is a concept record, for anyone who wants to deny it. It's all about Sept. 11, and that's the main problem. He's restricted himself to write about one event, granted it caused a thousand feelings, but sometimes you can summarize them in one song, which he has in the title track. But the record gets repeative lyrically and musically and I can't listen to it all the way through. While individual songs may stand on their own, as album it ultimately stumbles.
But I will give Bruce credit for trying such a monumental task and though it didn't quite work in the end, it's still a better record than most of what was released this past year.