I rarely review anything other than books. However, I wanted to review The Ties That Bind: The River Collection (CD/Blu-ray) (Audio CD) for the simple reason that Bruce Springsteen is my favorite artist, despite being my polar opposite in ideology.
I simply adore the man’s music. And, at times, the man himself. I don’t want to get into the particulars. Part of it is explained below, and the rest? Well, let’s just say that I don’t feel comfortable among his “biggest” fans after being run off of a comments thread by some of them in 2012, because I disagreed with their interpretation of the events of 9/11/12, in Benghazi, Libya.
There’s very little common ground between me (a person who will look at facts no matter where they point me) and certain people very far Left of center, who won’t. Unless, perhaps, some of the people who called me a liar, a right wing nut job, and then insinuated that I (and by association, my family) are unworthy to take a ride on the train to the Land of Hope and Dreams have seen the proof. No point in rehashing this. Hillary Clinton lied and covered up the events of the attack. It’s proven beyond a doubt now. Perhaps some folks will take the evidence into account, but others simply won’t. It doesn’t matter to me anymore. Hillary Clinton will be the Democrat Party nominee for President of the United States. People can vote for her or not, as they choose.
None of this affects my love of Springsteen’s music. There’s just something I’m drawn to. Perhaps it’s the similarity of the characters in the title track of The River to myself and my husband. Maybe it’s the deep down feeling in my gut when I listen to lyrics that describe hard work, prayer, love, heartbreak and fighting to hang on to what you’ve earned. This is what I hear when listening to The Boss.
So, despite online abuse from Leftists, and my tendency to stay away from Springsteen forums, I still love the artist and his music. Think of it this way. What’s your choice in reading material? Let’s say you’re a lover of Science Fiction, Fantasy and, perhaps Thrillers. You love these genres. What happens when you pick up a Harlequin Romance?
This is what happens to me when I become disgusted at a foolish remark or a downright insulting one from the Boss, and vow that I will listen to more Country music, because the artists don’t usually insult my sensibilities like Bruce does sometimes. Example: Springsteen made a statement endorsing Barack Obama in 2012, stating a woman’s reproductive rights, etc. In other words, he endorsed abortion on demand. This statement was on Springsteen’s official FB page accompanied by a photo. In the photo, Bruce was wearing a Miraculous Medal. (You know… that medal depicting Mary, Mother of Jesus? A mainstay of Catholics? You know, those Catholics… the ones whose catechism states that abortion is murder? That medal.)
So… I just compartmentalize this seemingly mind bending hypocrisy, and pray that the medal is something that will help Mr. Springsteen at some point. Then I pop in another Springsteen CD, and get lost in the music. I do listen to other genres, and even some Country Music, but… it’s just not my favorite. My favorite is Classic Rock, mainly Springsteen. However, when reviewing a product, I must be honest. See below.
Following is my review. (4 stars on Amazon). The boxed set is pictured above.
My husband gave me The River boxed set for Christmas. I’m really enjoying it, for the most part. I love the music, and The River is my 3rd favorite Springsteen album, after DOTEOT and BTR. I really am not much of a collector, and certainly don’t own every song Springsteen ever released, so I’m positive I will love all the songs included. I love Bruce’s voice, his enthusiasm, his obvious love for the E Streeters, and the energy of each performance. His music has gotten me through numerous hard times. He’s easily my favorite artist, and this comes from someone who has listened to all the Classic Rock greats since the mid 1970s.
I enjoyed looking through the pictures, and the notebook. I like looking at Bruce’s beautiful, artistic handwriting. Handwriting tells so much about a person. I really enjoy seeing the creative process of this artist.
The Tempe concert is terrific. I’ve only been to 3 shows, all in Philly, 2 of which were during the Wrecking Ball Tour. I seriously doubt any more shows are in my future, so I will watch this Tempe DVD often. My only issue, and folks can agree or disagree as they so choose, is that I was blindsided while watching the concert. Mr. Springsteen has always felt the need to share his political views with his paying audience. I understand that, and accept it. But I must admit that to me, it’s a turn off. I’ve never understood the need for any artist to alienate parts of their audience. The fact that I heard him say to the students in Arizona that he considered the election results of the previous evening “frightening” wasn’t a great moment. More than half the country felt otherwise, and some of them were probably in the audience. I have always found this behavior rude, and I’m entitled to my opinion.
I had to shut off the TV. I made a note of exactly where in the show this statement occurred, so I can FF through next time. This is the only reason I’m not giving this collection 5 stars. For me, a 5 star review is reserved for material that doesn’t broadside me with insults. Other than this I love the collection, and I would recommend it to people like me, who haven’t seen shows in double digits and don’t own a lot of rare songs.