The 5 Most Overrated Male Musicians, Part Two
#1: Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Springsteen is a pompous blowhard whose overwrought, arrested-adolescent lyrics make Jim Morrison sound like Philip Larkin.
And like Morrison, he wrote about stuff he knows nothing about -- like having a real job -- and, like both Morrison and Stevie Wonder, he gave himself a ridiculous "penis" nickname: "The Boss."
The only reason "Because the Night" is good is because Patti Smith co-wrote it.
Long ago, I read in a British music magazine that Springsteen used to hire actors as medics and ambulance drivers, to drag him off the stage at the end of one of his "exhausting" three-hour concerts.
If that's not true, it should be.
I'm not alone in my hatred of Bruce Springsteen, which had simply been garden-variety dislike until a) he cheated on his wife and b) he started getting really stupidly and outspokenly political during the Bush years.
This guy's "10 Reasons I Hate Bruce Springsteen" is an instant classic. (And yes, Neil Young's song for Philadelphia was far superior.)
But as usual, it took an Englishman to give Springsteen the thrashing he deserves:
Someone like Tom Waits makes me feel like I understand America a little better. Springsteen makes me feel hopelessly estranged from the place with his hyperventilating soap operas about young lovers riding outta this one-horse town on the back of a hurricane down the highway of dreams. (...)
His lyrics are wrought from overcooked high school poetry ("we ride through mansions of glory on suicide machines"), homespun hokum, and the York Study Notes to John Steinbeck.
Springsteen appeals to the eternal adolescent in every rock fan, but not the fun, irreverent version, rather the inner Holden Caulfield, earnestly searching for ANSWERS and TRUTH, desperate to be a hero in the drama of his own life, utterly incapable of laughing at himself or the world.
Oh, and then there's that "Santa Clause Is Coming to Town" cover.
Unlike a lot of Bruce-haters, I don't object to Springsteen's fans at all. I love rabid fandom.
I just don't think Bruce Springsteen deserves his.
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Coming Next Week: The 5 Most Overrated Female Musicians