Eric Church – “Springsteen”

30 Mar

Songwriters:  Eric Church, Jeff Hyde, Ryan Tyndell

This is easily my favorite Eric Church single to date – which, for a song built around a Bruce Springsteen namedrop, is saying a lot.

Like the masculine version of Taylor Swift’s “Tim McGraw,” “Springsteen” connects its narrator’s musical hero with memories of a loved one from the past.  Far from leaning on empty cliché phrasing, “Springsteen” is full of little details – vivid, beautiful, instantly relatable details.  As Church wistfully recollects a romanctic encounter from the days of his youth, he walks us through the night’s happenings, and wonders if his old flame ever thinks of him when she hears that old Sprinsteen tune.  He constructs surface-level imagery in such a way that it connects to the underlying emotions, thus supplying color to the lyrical vignettes instead of presenting a black and white template.  That’s what brings the song to life, and makes it something that we as listeners can actually feel instead of just hear.

And that arrangement!  The light percussion and piano sounds subtly cool, and different from the typical country radio fare – openly nodding to The Boss’s own musical stylings, while maintaining enough restraint to avoid becoming a distraction.  Church ties the whole package together with his authentic, lived-in vocal delivery, finished off with some darn near haunting whoa-oa-oas as the song reaches its end, making for a deliciously addictive listening experience.

More of this please, Chief!

(Scores are given on a scale of 1 to 10)

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Posted by on March 30, 2012 in Single Reviews


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3 responses to “Eric Church – “Springsteen”

  1. tt

    April 2, 2012 at 2:34 PM

    Could not agree more!

  2. Jimbo

    April 3, 2012 at 12:53 AM

    Great song, and I used the exact same words earlier today (masculine version of Taylor Swift’s “Tim McGraw”).

  3. rowdyred

    April 13, 2012 at 2:54 PM

    When I first read this review, I wanted to say, “But — but — you hated Brad Paisley’s ‘Old Alabama!’ What’s the difference?”

    I’m glad I didn’t write that response then. After listening to this song for several weeks on the radio, I have to agree that its message is considerably closer to TS’s “Tim McGraw.” But more than that, this song has its own irresistable hook with that “Whoa-whoa-whoa-o-o,” that evokes so much so simply. The song titles slip by as part of the narrative of the larger story, not as sly substitutes for original lyrics a la “Old Alabama” (which I, personally, still like). The wistful reference to “this old tattoo when the ink was new” sharply defines this song as his own story, in an original and unforced way. It personalizes his experiences yet reminds me of what happened in my own life as set to a Springsteen soundtrack.

    Yes, this is a beautifully realized song. In fact it has made me reevaluate him, since I wasn’t too happy with last two singles. Plenty of talent here! More like this, indeed!


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