Sparks Fly On E Street: Bruce Springsteen, “When You’re Alone” (1987)

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During this revisit of Tunnel Of Love, I found myself really wanting to like this song. It seems like a kind of companion piece to One Step Up, a cautionary tale. Love vanishes and you’re left with nothing but bewilderment and the sound of your own beating heart.

But I failed.

For an album that’s supposed to be a “masterpiece,” Bruce drops cliché’s (“mean streets” and “just the shirt on my back”) with ease. And musically, I do kind of dig when the chorus gains that vocal bloom toward the end. However, the first iteration of the chorus brings forth the dreaded clave. How many times is this? I’ve lost count. Add in a few squirts of keyboard cheese and you’ve got a track that my ears have little use for.

Up next: Valentine’s Day

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Mark Saleski

Mark Saleski

Mark Saleski is a writer and music obsessive based out of the woods of central New Hampshire. A past contributor to Jazz.com, Blogcritics.org and Salon, he originated several of our weekly features including the Friday Morning Listen, (Cross the) Heartland, WTF! Wednesday, and Sparks Fly on E Street. Follow him on Twitter: @msaleski. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Mark Saleski
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