The Boss and The Beib

Hello All,

Back in Old Blighty we sure love our ‘golden oldies’ – some days back I had written about old men Engelbert and Tom Jones making headlines once again.  Now witness Bruce Springsteen, who was ‘Bossing’ it in America back in the 80s, beating out all competition to rule the roost on the U.K. album charts!  Springsteen ‘Wrecking Ball’ album is no. 1 in U.K.  Not bad, Boss – and not bad, Britishers too!  You’ve got taste, for Springsteen is as genuine a rocker as they come.

But you can’t say the same about everyone.  Here in the States Billboard seems to be going ‘mad’ about Mad-onna’s ‘MDNA’ album.  (Why are you trying to hype and push it, Billboard?)  I sampled a few tracks and it’s just more of the same – overproduced, synthetic, generic dance-club tracks under the ‘Madonna’ brand-name, quasi-sung in that insubstantial, thin and reedy voice we all know and love so well.  Nothing new, nothing artistic here.  How this juggernaut keeps rolling on and on escapes me.  Credit the image-makers and PR people – they can sell anything!

Something far more engaging and authentic is Fun’s ‘We Are Young’ (which, in all honesty, is too dark to be mere ‘fun’).  Billboard reports that it is the first debut single by a rock band to ascend to no. 1 on the singles chart in a gazillion years.  Not by any stretch a ‘rocker’, this appealing song, driven by a heavy backbeat, sounds as if it’s influenced by 80s and 90s Euro-Pop.  It’s driving me batty because I can’t remember just who it reminds me of!  Perhaps someone will be able to make the connection and post a comment.

Looking two weeks ahead to the 26th, Justin Bieber’s ‘Boyfriend’ should land in the Top Ten – at least.  It’s the lead track from his upcoming album, ‘Believe’, which is said to be quite a departure from his earlier work, and so much so that the boy – er, man, now – himself thought it needed some justification: “You can’t really expect anything from my album. It’s really, really different. . . . I’m not trying to lose any of my young fans.”  No worries, Justin, you probably won’t – ‘Believe’ me!

Here’s an odd couple that I wouldn’t mind seeing (and hearing): Bruce and The Bieb!  How about Bruce Springstein and Justin Bieber duetting, backed by The Boss’s band?  Intriguing thought, eh?

In closing, it’s particularly apropos to refer to Britain as ‘Old Blighty’ in a music blog – ever heard ‘Take me Back to Dear Old Blighty’?

Blithely (and Blightily) Yours,

Shane

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