I've been obsessively repeating Bruce Springsteen's "The Wrestler" all morning. The party line is that he wrote this song for the film of the same name (If you haven't seen it, do), about Mickey Rourke's Randy "The Ram" Robinson. But the song can just as easily be heard as a lament on Springsteen's own struggle to stay relevant after 37 years.
Go ahead, make all the relevant criticisms of The Boss - He's a one trick pony. He's repetitive - only 2 of his 15 records depart from his tried and true arena rock template. He's technically a shitty singer. He's technically a shitty guitar player. He's become a caricature of himself. Levy them all, I can't argue. But the fact is that the man has a unique ability to tap into that level of human emotion that actually resides below despair better than any artist I've heard. He is actually able to write from the perspective of people so bleak, the rest of us can't even fathom their desolation.
It's a talent that has kept me coming back for more despite all the things that should have driven me away. But he can't shake me, because in my opinion there are only 2 acceptable answers to the question - "Who is the greatest American songwriter?" Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen.
Bruce Springsteen - Factory (Mp3)
Bruce Springsteen - Stolen Car (Mp3)
Bruce Springsteen - The River (Mp3)
Bruce Springsteen - Racing in the Street (Mp3)
Bruce Springsteen - Atlantic City (Mp3)