Bruce Springsteen - Human Touch

Bruce Springsteen has always been steeped in mainstream pop/rock music, using it as a vocabulary for what he wanted to say about weightier matters. He has always written generic pop as well, but Human Touch was the first album to consist entirely of this kind of minor genre material, which he seems capable of turning out endlessly and effortlessly. Having largely jettisoned the E Street Band, Springsteen enlisted some sturdy minor talent to play and sing, among them ace studio drummer Jeff Porcaro, Sam Moore of Sam & Dave, and Bobby Hatfield of the Righteous Brothers. It's pleasant enough stuff, and easy to listen to, but it is not the kind of record Springsteen had conditioned his audience to expect, and its release brought considerable disappointment. Though at nearly 59 minutes it was the longest single-disc album of his career, and though it contained several songs that could have been big hits -- the "Tunnel of Love" soundalike title track, which actually made the Top 40, "Roll of the Dice," an AOR radio favorite, and "Man's Job" -- Human Touch was an uninspired Springsteen album, his first that didn't at least aspire to greatness.

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