A friend of mine got his hands on it and invited me over this morning and surprised me with it. Here are my thoughts:
One Minute You’re here:
The song starts off with a picking acoustic reminiscent of “Blood Brothers”. Bruce’s vocals are soft and finishes off each phrase with “One minute you’re here. Next minute you’re gone”. The song sounds like it would have fit on “Devils and Dust”. Pretty short song. I’m not sure I would have had it as an opening track but hey, it’s not my album.
Letter to You:
We’ve all heard it. Moving on
A very quick whirl of the organ to an overdriven/distorted guitar. Not in your face but it’s there. Quick repeating bass drum. This one reminds me of “Real World” melody and music wise but still, there is something different to it. The song showcases a little bit of Bruce’s vocal range in the way “Frankie fell in Love” did. The guitar solo has Little Steven written all of it. Solid tune.
Janey needs a Shooter:
Admittedly, I’ve never listen to the three older songs until I finally looked them up on YouTube. From what I can tell, this version is slightly faster. It has “Darkness” era written all over it which is when I believe is when he wrote recorded it? The song reminds me of “The Promise” with parts of the melody reminds me of “Candy’s Boy” from “The Promise” box set. I really dig the harmonica solo.
Last Man Standing:
This is the song featured on the trailer for Letter to You. Again, this song is reminiscent of the “Darkness” era. The low end guitar lead is what does it along with a sax solo. Rhythm has a “Prove it all Night” feel. It’s cool to hear Bruce shouting cues to the band in the mix. Another excellent song.
The Power of Prayer:
Starting off with a nice piano intro before the band slams in with Bruce’s vocals. The melody is great. The song could have been on “Working on a Dream”. Low end guitar solo matches the sax solo. A very nice love song with a mid tempo. One of my favorites.
House of a Thousand guitars:
The piano intro and melody reminds me of a song that I can’t quite remember. Once again, a low end guitar solo plays the melody. Bruce references the house of a thousand guitars as a church of Rock n Roll. The outro is written to be played for an infinite amount of time live. It ends with Bruce singing quietly and repeating “House of a thousand guitars” over and over. It’s an ok song in my opinion but far from his best.
Starts with a slide on acoustic guitar with the piano playing the same two chords ringing out. The music in the chorus reminds me of the instrumental part of “Into the Fire” the lyrics remind me of “Sugarland”. I absolutely love the growl in Bruce’s voice as he holds on the end of the lyric “Rainmakerrrrrrrr”. This is probably my 2nd favorite song.
If I was the Priest:
Upon YouTubing the original, this version is a little faster and Bruce’s vocals soar. It has the same chord progression you’d find on so many pop songs. Think “I’m goin Down” but slower. I really like it.
Again, we’ve all heard it. Probably the hardest rocking song on the album.
Song for Orphans:
The intro remind me of the intro from “”My City of Ruins” but with the harmonica from “The Promise” version of “Racing in the Street”. I really like it. Another callback to the “Darkness” era with a tinge of the “Born to Run” era. Very nice song!
I’ll see you in my Dreams:
I hear the “Working in a Dream” album all over this while it still brings something I can’t place my thumb on. I hear very small traces of “Book of Dreams” in the melody. A nice song about looking back. While he sings about having someone’s guitar by his bed, I also can’t help but think Bruce is realizing his own mortality and singing to us as well. I love the line “For death is not the end. I’ll see you in my dreams.”. The song ends but for a barely audible piano and Bruce singing “I’ll see you in my Dreams” slowly and the piano hitting one last high note. A very nice closing song to the album.
Overall, I love it. Please bare in mind, these are just my opinions as I’m sure people will either agree or disagree with me. It’s classic E Street. Even if this is the last E Street album we get, it’s a fitting send off.