Working On A Dream - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
Working On A Dream Image
Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 29 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 93 Ratings

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  • Summary: Springsteen's latest solo album is the fourth time he has worked with producer Brendan O'Brien.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 29
  2. Negative: 1 out of 29
  1. Working on a Dream is the richest of the three great rock albums Springsteen has made this decade with the E Street Band--and moment for moment, song for song, there are more musical surprises than on any Bruce album you could name.
  2. Although he has always shown a willingness to borrow from himself, Working On a Dream never feels overburdened by those Springsteen mannerisms that have become cliches.
  3. Hs 16th (16th!) studio album, sees him eschew such stylings and instead go for broke on telling tales and flashing his soul
  4. Working On A Dream is arguably the best-sounding album Springsteen has made since "Born To Run." Just don't look too hard at the lyric sheet. As the album's prosaic title suggests, Working On A Dream is weighed down by lines.
  5. 60
    The end of the working day, the mark of Cain, to win, darling, we must pay--these phrases, variations on ones he's used previously, arise on his fifth studio album in seven years, until it seems his uncharacteristic prolific streak comes partly from lazy songwriting, maybe done with a set of Bruce Springsteen Lyric Magnets.
  6. 60
    Bliss isn't the Boss' bag. Without anything to push against, one of rock's most eloquent lyricists is in the awkward position of having little of interest to say.
  7. Yet despite O'Brien's anemic production, much of the blame for Working On a Dream undoubtedly lies with Springsteen himself; drained of his angry energy, he dribbles out material that's for the most part goofy and painfully bloodless.

See all 29 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 32
  2. Negative: 3 out of 32
  1. SteveB.
    Jan 27, 2009
    10
    I think this is a wonderful album, full of gorgeous lush melodies and great melodic singing. And the lyrics, though lighter on the surface than normal, are deeper and thematic upon inspection. This is not an album one expected from Springsteen, and it requires some outside the box thinking as it's more orchestral and less guitar oriented than one might expect. It rewards repeated spins and I think it's the best album Springsteen has made since at least 1987. Expand
  2. EasyGoer
    Feb 8, 2009
    10
    A pure pop gem. Wit and wisdom about love and life delivered with a smirk and a nod to AM pop radio. Those that don't like it, just don't get it. "Queen of the Supermarket" is the litmus test; either you love or you don't. It's pure unadulterated pop perfection. "Kingdom of Days" provides a truly great moment in pop music as Bruce declares "I love you, I love you, I love you I do. She whispers then prove it, then prove it, then prove it to me Baby Blue" as the orchestration soars. In the quick of a knife we have brilliantly distilled the essential difference of the male/female perspective with an allusion to Springsteen's own music and that of Badfinger. The song then proceeeds to a Simon and Garfunkle reference captured in a minute of sublime pop bliss. More than this; there is nothing. Expand
  3. Aug 18, 2010
    10
    *Sniff,Sniff* So beatifull. Bruce Springsteen has outdone himself. Also the whole album was the best out of his whole career. I think that this album may be his best yet! The song "The Wrestler" is so pretty, I wanted to hear it again and again. A solid 10/10 Expand
  4. KosM
    Feb 2, 2009
    9
    Close to make a masterpiece in sound, only the light lyrics bring down the title of one of the most beautiful albums of the decade. Bravo Bruce!!!
  5. Nov 14, 2011
    8
    A great album, full of classic Springsteen tracks from start to finish. He's a lot more polished and produced than his 70's/80's heyday but beneath it all is still some masterful songwriting. The version I have has "The Wrestler" as the final track and it move the record up from an 8 to a 9. One of his nicest songs and a fitting way to end one of his best albums with the E-Street band. Expand
  6. CRL
    Jul 30, 2011
    6
    I'm a teenager and I love Springsteen, but this just had something missing. There were a couple really good songs, especially My Lucky Day and The Last Carnival, but they were surrounded with somewhat moving yet almost generic soft-rockish songs. Expand
  7. RaysaJ.
    Jan 27, 2009
    0
    Just doesn't make sense like he used to. The whole album sounds sluggish and empty and drained of any of the usual E Street band energy. Bruce Springsteen has succumbed to the rock star malaise where he really thinks anything he puts to paper is brilliant. joining the club with the Stones and U2. Expand

See all 32 User Reviews