Response to your "The Rising" review:
I see why you arent allowed to review albums for any major publications; just your little homepage.  Reviewing albums involves something called research.  Had you chosen to utilize this tool (I remind you that reading the flier describing the album at the record store does not count as research) you would have found out that much of the material on "The Rising" was written PRE-9/11. 

I don't know where your information regarding Springsteen's views on Political Correctness and Family Values comes from, but I would assume that you are from that school of people that never accepted the fact that "Born in the USA" was not a patriotic song or album.  If Bruce were trying to be a politician, I would suggest that playing "American Skin (41 Shots)" a song that crticizes the NYPD on this tour would not be the way to go about it, but then again that would have invovled some research (outside of your Jackson Browne records) on your part, so I know thats out of the question.  Not to mention the fact that you refer to him "complimenting" the President which is another falicy on your part due to the fact that at every show this tour he has reminded the audience that we are living under a regime (headed by George) that is constantly trying to rob us of our Civil Liberties.  Oh yeah, and the reference to there being a "Viper in the grass" of the White House in "Lonesome Day" doesn't seem too "Pro-Bush" either. 

Where on The Rising do the songs ever insist that you are " a bad person" of you disagree with them as you suggest over and over in your "review?"  I wouldn't expect you to furnish me with an answer because that would have meant that you listened to the entire album and not just the chorus to each song, which I also know is a falsehood. 

You make reference to the fact that you are disgusted with "Paradise" and its' portrayal of suicide bombers as people, and as a result label Bruce as trying to please his audience, yet you also mention later in your review that you would rather hear Toby Keith twang his way through "The Angry American."  Hypocricy at its worst.  You have to realize that Americans are 95% white trash rednecks and that their mindset reflects yours and Toby's rather than Bruce's.  How can you say that he is exploiting the dead Americans and simultaniously scorn him for presenting an ALTERNATE viewpoint?  The theme of The Rising is that everyone involved in 9/11, from the terrorists to the firefighters to the widows are all human beings with human emotions and a story to tell.  Then again you chose to forgo the stories and just read the cliff-notes version, as you didnt actually listen to the album, you just relied on real publications reviews and formulated your own opposite opinions because you are pissed off about the fact that Bruce is still a prominent rock figure and your classic rock "faves" are has-been's or never-were's.
You mention that the stories told in The Rising are from the perspective of the firefighters and not of Bruce...Eureka you dumb ass!  When last I looked, Bruce's music has NEVER been autobiographical (with the exception of songs about his father) so why would he be trying to tell the story from his point of view? 
Now, to shoot down the last and least researched part of your "review" you close by calling The Rising a "cash in by a has been." Had you known anything about Springsteen besides what Ronald Reagan taught you, you would realize that Springsteen's 99-2000 Tour (Pre-9/11 I might add) sold more tickets than any other tour in the history of the industry, how does a has-been pull that off?

In closing, I can't see why this album would piss you off so much.  You obviously didn't purchase it (or even listen to it for that matter) so it's not like that $15 was taken out of your welfare check. 

Al replies:

Thank you for your thoughtful response.  You do have some points worth responding to, though your tone strikes me as being perhaps unnecessarily harsh.

First however, I want to briefly re-iterate my big area of critique of The Rising:  the songs aren't much good.  I could put up with a lot of ideological nonsense if the the record was good; London Calling by the Clash is still one of my all time faves, and they were some serious commie jackasses.  However, a record should be judged based primarily on how good the songs are.

This one lacks much in the way of strong melodic hooks, much less intriguing developments of those hooks.  It's pretty much insta-Springsteen songs -add water, makes its own sauce.  Most of them could have been leftovers from The River, which itself has not held up well.

The other sociological stuff is in a sense largely irrelevant because, as we mentioned previously, the record sucked so bad that all the forces of the corporate media couldn't buy him a hit single, so a year from now there won't be anyone listening to this foolishness.

Again, I get the strong impression that this album represents a politician taking a carefully poll-checked "stand" rather than any kind of expression of true personal emotion.  Springsteen did in fact go out of his way to make some nice comments about Dubya during the immediate pre-release press.  Then he can indulge some of your standard cheap commie crap onstage.  He likes to have it both ways, like any politician.  The whole thing stinks, no matter how many votes he gets or concert tickets he hawks.

I will re-iterate that the album is full of cheap faux-Jimmy Stewart everyman posturing, speaking for the firemen and the little people, even having compassion and empathy for the suicidal terrorist.  Wow.  I'm so flipping impressed.

You asked where I would take it from that I would expect to be looked down upon for disagreeing with the cardboard liberalism of Springsteen's wise and thoughtful take.  We need look no further than your own comments but a mere couple of sentences later,

"You have to realize that Americans are 95% white trash rednecks and that their mindset reflects yours and Toby's rather than Bruce's.

See, if we were all sophisticated and sensitive like you and Bruce, we could just show empathy with the jackasses who want to kill us.  Then when we just showed them that we "get it" that will melt their hearts.  Pretty soon we'll all just be singing Kumbaya and jacking each other off, and all us white trash rednecks will see how wrong we've been all along.  It'll be a great time.

Meanwhile, while Springsteen is off at his senate campaign kickoff, I'll be digging around looking for some actual good music.

PS That crack accusing me of listening to Jackson Browne records was uncalled for.  You should take that back.

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