Bruce Springsteen – Streets Of Philadelphia

We’re going to try a new feature – we’re full of them these days – whereby we look at one artist over the course of a week. We’ll pick the  artists at random and share an opinion on each of their top five Spotify songs. To start off, we’ll go with good ol’ Bruce Springsteen.

As you can see, there’s a fair few listens on each of the top five for good ol’ Bruce, and we’re going to work our way up the list, starting with…

That’s right, Streets Of Philadelphia, where one might find a young Will Smith.

Now, I’ve never actually listened to this before, so I’m going to go ahead and do that now, before writing anything else.

Now, I’m going to be honest, I’m not a fan. It starts off strong with the drum beat, but when the synthesizers start up, I’m automatically turned off from the song.

That said, the lyrics are highly emotive – they’re well written, well performed and the video is a technical masterpiece, with the vocals recorded alongside the visuals, the backing placed over the top. I’m impressed, at least.

Truth be told, I think it’s just the music that lets the song down – the lyrics are perfect for the subject matter, providing a suitable anthem, as it were, for tackling AIDS discrimination (as per the film it was written for, Philadelphia). Take the first verse, for example.

I was bruised and battered, I couldn’t tell what I felt.
I was unrecognizable to myself.
Saw my reflection in a window and didn’t know my own face.
Oh brother are you gonna leave me wastin’ away
On the streets of Philadelphia.

This is a man who has clearly been rejected by all those he knew before his condition became apparent, a man who has been so warped by his illness, he barely even knows himself anymore. It’s a horrifying thought, and the fact that this was happening even in my lifetime (born 1994), is disturbing to say the least.

But, we humans are, of course, bastards.

So here I’m going to do something I don’t think I’ve ever done before. I’m going to overlook the music. I’m going to pretend it doesn’t exist, because if I don’t, I can’t happily give it more than a 5. May the great reviewers of old have mercy on me.


That Guy

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