In a year when Bruce Springsteen's 2006 album The Seeger Sessions shocked me at first because it was so different..and when I decided I didnt "have" to see this tour, some critics called it his best ever, while I thought "better than with E street Band ? could NOT be," I find myself thinking that for me personally, once again, my highest musical moments came from Bruce this year, as in all previous years. Not out of fan loyalty ...its earned. But I confess ..THIS is a year that I saw one of the better concerts nobody was talking about...Billy Joel on tour these days is something for the ages...all the hits and high points of his illustrious career are there ...it is HIS tour that was like Bruce getting the E Streeters together again to rock THIS century's roof off as well...so...with Billy a close second...its still a Bruce Springsteen World for me...but I am open minded...consider:
This year I found top 40 music I could tolerate, and even liked, more than in years past ....Beyonce, Gnarls Barkely, Justin Timberlake, (he's got a d%%% in the box for you) and ESPECIALLY Christine Aguilera offered ear candy worth dosing on. Beck, Fergie, Rod Stewart all made music that perked my ears up and made me long for the days when I listend to much more music with much more passion. And James Blunt and others with the falsetto ..sing the high notes boys ....God knows Bruce has tried ..and some would say ..failed at it.
And I realized a long time ago that for someone in their 40's as I am, we remember music as what was on the radio ...and of course music to the youngest generation is changed now. This generation will remember it's video game music as fondly ...and will consider among it's music memories, not just the top 40, but certainly things like American Idol. Every week, Idol is live, with young singers throwing down familiar music ..and it's invigaroting ..the performance aspect MUCH more so than the competitive aspect of voting or the much too hyped, albeit neccessary ramblings of the onstage critics. Live music in America's living rooms 2 times a week ...THAT was missing from Americana for a long time...too long. Thank God Idol is succeeding.
And while country music continued to be mostly about a closeup of someones face on the album cover and, although often cleverly, but mostly commercially concocted twists of phrases turned into rhymes with the same 3 chords and 4 instruments, the Dixie Chicks Album Taking The Long Way proved that if country radio don't want em, F em, you're missing out on the best thing to happen to you since Garth Brooks...no ...better. A great year when critics think that Bob Dylan was the best ...
May all years be as musically rich as 2006 was.
...and maybe the E Street Band will be back on tour in 2007