Bruce Springsteen – Only The Strong Survive

Columbia Records

Release Date: November 11th 2022

Reviewed by: Joshua Andre

Bruce Springsteen– Only The Strong Survive (Amazon mp3/iTunes)

Track Listing:

  1. Only The Strong Survive
  2. Soul Days (feat. Sam Moore)
  3. Nightshift
  4. Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)
  5. The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore
  6. Turn Back The Hands Of Time
  7. When She Was My Girl
  8. Hey, Western Union Man
  9. I Wish It Would Rain
  10. Don’t Play That Song
  11. Any Other Way
  12. I Forgot To Be Your Lover (feat. Sam Moore)
  13. 7 Rooms Of Gloom
  14. What Becomes Of The Broken-hearted
  15. Someday We’ll Be Together

Bruce Springsteen, aka the Boss, needs no introduction. His legacy and musical discography speaks for itself, and one read (or glace or intense analysis, depending on your level of enjoyment for his music), will show you someone with a great deal of respect amongst his peers, contemporaries and people in the industry that are many generations younger than him. A look at his discography will also reveal to you someone who knows his craft, who knows his identity and who knows hwo to handle the pressure, fame, and stardom. Bruce is well-liked amongst his fans and critics alike, and countless albums and number one hits showcase this fact as well. We are planning to blog about Bruce in an upcoming blog this year, but until that time, let me just briefly touch upon his latest album Only The Strong Survive.

To tell you the truth, I’m not that well versed in Bruce’s music. I know, I know, it’s probably a shocker than I’m so uncultured. If I were to say, ‘I just haven’t gotten around to it’, would you believe me? Maybe it’s because Bruce just wasn’t really on my radar, until I knew that one of us had to write about him in our blog series- and by that time, his discography seemed to be so, so daunting and overwhelming? With a sound similar to Bon Jovi, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Sheryl Crow, Paul McCartney, Queen, The Police, Sting, Billy Joel (all rolled up into one!), Bruce’s career needs to be read to be believed. His stage presence is electric, and he seems to be still going strong. Bruce is 73 years old- and can conceivably sing for another 20 years or so if he keeps himself fit and in shape. But enough about Bruce and his music- that’s what the upco9ming blog is for. Why write about Bruce’s latest album and touch upon it here, if I’m not an expert at it?

Well, first things first, I wanted to just spin through a Bruce Springsteen album, and just see how it sounded. And what better way than to spin through Bruce’s latest? Also, I heard that Only the Strong Survive was a covers album… and I thought ‘beauty, songs I’ve heard before, of course I’ll give this a whirl!”. Then I looked at the track list. It was a covers album of soul and R&B songs from back in the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. Not my era, and not including any original artist that I know about. Of course, you can read about this project on Wikipedia, and you don’t have to read my ‘review’. And I wouldn’t blame you. If I was a reader, I’d do this too. But before I have a brain fade and write about the individual tracks with so much more authority than I even do have on the subject of R&B and soul from yesteryear; let me just say this to you all.

I won’t dive deep into this album as a whole because I’ll just look out of my depth and sound silly. I won’t even pretend to know Bruce’s music. I won’t even pretend to know the type of music he’s covering here. All that I can say is that Bruce is a living legend, and his music is a force to be reckoned with. Long after he has passed, even that may be, people will still be talking about Bruce’s influence and the influence of his music. I’ve listened to Only the Strong Survive a number of times, and this album has touched my soul on every level and each and every time. Singers back then had heart, but so does Bruce in these covers. Never mind that he’s a white guy covering songs from African American artists. These 15 songs are recorded so perfectly, and Bruce’s renditions will be timeless as the years progress. Sure, it’s not as well-done nor accomplished as Bruce’s solo material. But Only The Strong Survive is a work of art and a masterpiece, no matter any angle you look at. If you’re a fan of Bruce’s music, then you’ll love this album. if you’re a fan of soul music, then you’ll love this album. if you’re neither… you’ll still love this album. Well done, Bruce, I can’t wait to backtrack through your discography and listen to your music! it will sure be a joy to listen to!

4 songs to listen to: Only the Strong Survive, I Wish It Would Rain, What Becomes Of The Broken-hearted, Someday We’ll Be Together

Score: 5/5

RIYL: Bon Jovi, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Sheryl Crow, Paul McCartney, Queen, The Police, Sting, Billy Joel

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