Bruce Springsteen's Human Touch: A Pop-Rock Album with Mixed Reviews
Bruce Springsteen is one of the most influential and successful rock artists of all time, with a career spanning over five decades and countless awards and accolades. His albums have often been praised for their lyrical depth, musical diversity and social commentary. However, not every album has been equally well-received by critics and fans alike. One of his most controversial albums is Human Touch, released in 1992.
Human Touch was Springsteen's first album without his longtime backing band, the E Street Band, since 1973. He recorded it with a group of session musicians and guest singers, such as Sam Moore of Sam & Dave and Bobby Hatfield of the Righteous Brothers. The album consisted entirely of pop-rock songs that Springsteen had written over the years, some of which he had previously given away to other artists. The album was also one of his longest, at nearly 59 minutes.
The album spawned several singles, such as the title track, which reached the top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, \"Roll of the Dice\", which was a hit on album-oriented rock radio stations, and \"57 Channels (And Nothin' On)\", which was a satire on television culture. However, the album also received mixed reviews from critics and fans, who felt that it lacked the passion, originality and relevance that had characterized Springsteen's previous work. Some also criticized the production quality and the use of synthesizers and drum machines.
Human Touch was released simultaneously with another Springsteen album, Lucky Town, which was more acoustic and personal in tone. Some speculated that Springsteen had released two albums at once to compensate for the lack of quality on either one. Others suggested that he had done so to fulfill his contract with Columbia Records, which he left shortly after. In any case, Human Touch remains one of Springsteen's most divisive albums, with some fans enjoying its pop sensibility and others dismissing it as a low point in his career.
If you are interested in listening to Human Touch, you can find it on various streaming platforms or purchase it online. You can also watch some live performances of the songs on YouTube[^2^] [^3^]. You can also read more about the album's background, reception and legacy on AllMusic[^1^] or Wikipedia.
One of the reasons why Human Touch was so different from Springsteen's previous albums was that he had gone through some major changes in his personal and professional life in the late 1980s and early 1990s. He had divorced his first wife, Julianne Phillips, and married his backup singer, Patti Scialfa, with whom he had two children. He had also fired his longtime manager, Jon Landau, and moved from New Jersey to California. These events influenced his musical direction and his relationship with the E Street Band, which he felt had become too predictable and comfortable.
Another reason why Human Touch was so controversial was that it came out at a time when the music industry and the cultural landscape were undergoing significant shifts. The rise of alternative rock, grunge and hip hop challenged the dominance of mainstream rock and pop artists like Springsteen. The end of the Cold War and the start of the Gulf War also changed the political and social context in which Springsteen's songs were heard. Some critics and fans felt that Springsteen had lost touch with the times and with his core audience.
However, despite its mixed reception, Human Touch also had some positive aspects and impacts. It showed that Springsteen was willing to experiment with different styles and sounds, and that he was not afraid to take risks. It also introduced some new fans to his music, especially in Europe, where the album was more successful than in the US. It also paved the way for Springsteen's later albums, such as The Ghost of Tom Joad and The Rising, which returned to his roots of folk and rock while addressing contemporary issues. ec8f644aee