BY CITIZEN MOM I used to live on 10th Avenue in Belmar, NJ, a few blocks away from the house on E Street that served as the band’s namesake and first rehearsal space, which of course makes me eminently qualified to render an instant-opinion on the first single from the Boss’s forthcoming album, Magic, which drops Oct. 2. The single, “Radio Nowhere,” is NOW PLAYING on Phawker Radio and for this week only is available as a free iTunes download. Ahem.
First listen: Hmmm. Kinda familiar four-note guitar riff, though I can’t quite figure out what it reminds me of. [“Don’t Fear The Reaper” by Blue Oyster Cult–The Ed.] ‘XPN is gonna suck this up like Lindsay Lohan in the handicapped stall. Definitely feels more modern and rock-ish than Bruce’s more recent offerings, but nobody is gonna mistake this for the new Art Brut. Let’s go down the checklist: Big guitars? Check. Patti and/or Nils and/or Miami Steve on backup? Checkity-check. Big, bang, boom coming from Max Weinberg‘s direction? Check. Subject matter: The sheer suckitude of commercial radio! This is news?
The voice. God, the voice! This, my friends, is what pushing-60 rock messiahs are supposed to sound like: Burnished. And still aping that “my Dad was from Kentucky” twang he uses to signify he’s speaking directly to you, The Average Working Stiff.
Still, it’s not exactly an anthem — it’s no “Badlands,” more like “Mary’s Place” — rousing enough to get the Dad-rockers out of their seats at the Meadowlands, but the emotional hook is a little too generic to make it a fist-pumper. I mean, does anybody not in the music business really feel the ups and downs of commercial radio’s vitality? Still, it’ll do nicely for an opening song on the mammoth intercontinental tour you know is about to follow. And that’s what this is all about really — getting the show on the road. See you in the parking lot.