New Jersey's most famous son may have captured the nation's heart, but he hasn't captured mine. I don't actively dislike Springsteen, it's just that we have no musical reference points in common. It's akin to sitting next to someone you've just met at a wedding and realizing that they're not bad, just boring. In this case, the wedding guest has a penchant for denim and a taste for backup singers.
But this is the part of Springsteen I don't understand: After the somber "Nebraska," he released a song called "Dancing in the Dark," a big, poppy anthem that was just as upbeat and radio-ready as some of 1984's other tunes (think "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" and "Karma Chameleon"). His record company even released a 12-inch remix of the song for dance clubs. What irks me most about Springsteen is that lurking behind the every-man-from-the-Jersey-Shore facade, he's trying to be all things to all people - intimate folk singer, stadium-filler, and, um, dancing queen.
-- Christopher Muther