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The Earliest Bird: Top New Recorded Release, The Killers And Bruce Springsteen’s “Dustland” Reviewed

Look at it this way: Brandon Flowers is to Bruce Springsteen 2021 what Bruce 2021 is to Bruce 1978, a pale imitation and that is even an insult to B21 because BF is just an unbelievably awful, awful guy with an awful, awful band. And while “A Dustland Fairytale” beginning “Just another white trash county kiss” might not be “I’m not a soldier but I’ve got soul” from the same album, it is on a similar level of tone deaf bullshit….. oh, and “cadence of a young mans eyes”?  A cadence refers to sound (“a modulation or inflection of the voice” not to eyes. For fuck’s sake, you’ve got a thesaurus, use it.

Why is Bruce signing on for this? He didn’t come out of his Jack Antonoff song all that well, a not untypical Antonoff meeting place between power pop and, this time, Bruce. It doesn’t work as a tribute but it is still very respectful, and while it, well, really stinks, it is light years ahead of the Killers


Flowers takes a song off the unspeakable Day & Night from 2009, called it “Dustland” and dusted it down for Bruce. Flowers is a true dullard, tieing Cinderella (and Sleeping Beauty) to the sort of dustbowl song even Bruce himself isn’t that good at with the exception of a “Tom Joad” here and there.

The song opens with violins and then piano, and Flowers takes the first verse both slow and loud, and when Bruce joins, “Cinderella in her party dress looking for her nightgown,” a line so bad it is wonder he didn’t throw up while singing it… what is Bruce doing on this shit? I am never overkind to Bruce but at his worse he isn’t this. Listen, Boss, just because young (young? Brandon is 39, Jack is 37, when Bruce was 37 he was releasing his divorce album) folks were influenced by you doesn’t mean you need to lend your support. “Dustland” is a rollercoaster lurching up with overblown, anthem like voice and rough and tumble guitars along with the orchestration.

Bruce obviously not in Vegas when they recorded the video, clearly he, er, called it in. And he looks over emotional and pissed off, Brandon is so overworking that jaw you might be forgiven for wishing he’d fall on his chin. The rest of the band are all bearded musos, all, I think it’s a thing now, the girls playing violin are looking way hot.

The song, from beginning to the end, is terrible. It is overwhelmed Americana verbosity and self-centered smugness, if you can learn from these self-righteous big mouths, I have no idea what.

If Bruce wants to sing with his contemporaries how about H.E.R. or Charli XCX,why not add deep house beats with Skrillex. In fact, why not do ANYTHING except this?

Grade: D+

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