Review of “Songs For The End of the World” Part 1: Bad Fan

Well, Rick Springfield has a new record out. I said this to my daughter after watching The Voice the other night, which featured singers taking a stab at Rick’s classic, “Jessie’s Girl,” and she responded, “A what?”

Because twelve year olds don’t call new releases records. Or albums. “A CD, honey.”

“Oh,” she said, still a little puzzled. Because we hardly ever buy CDs any more. She has a few, but mostly, we download songs one by one digitally, after we hear them and like them. So much for all the thought musicians used to put into sequencing and b sides versus singles, etc…music is taken in and digested very, very differently these days.

There it is, for download or, for realz, on the side of the screen over to the right.    You know, in case you’re all old skool and want your plastic case with all the artwork, etc etc etc.

Actually RS and crew would really probably prefer you did that. See, they’ve put out four different versions of the thing, with four different covers, and each has bonus content that is supposed to make all of us super die hard fans drool.

RS and his 4 Different CD Covers. Does this mean the world ends four times? Or Rick survives it four times? Or does it mean Rick thinks we all should buy this four different times?

Honestly, I’m over that part of the whole thing. Truly, I love my boy, Rick. But I’m past needing to have every little piece of wonderment that he’s ever strummed or sung. I don’t need to buy all four to get four different versions of the same thing. Don’t get me wrong, if that’s you, more power to you. Rick would prefer all of us die hard fans were a lot more like you than me. That’s why he’s still out there making all of this happen and how can afford to keep doing it. It’s brilliant marketing.

But since I’m me and a crappy fan these days, I never even bothered pre ordering the CD to get even one of those cool, different covers and any of the bonus content. I meant to, I really, did. But time got away from me, and all of a sudden I’m watching the Voice with my kid and realizing there is a clear cut reason those contestants are singing Jessie’s Girl on October 8. Because that CD is about to drop the very next day.

So for me, and for my world, the fastest and easiest way for this fan to get her hands on the tunes at that point was to download the sucker. Which I did, at 6am. So take that Best Buy, Amazon and the US Postal Service, I like my RS stuff fast and easy. Downloads it is.

I am crazy busy with work so I wasn’t able to really sit down with the music yesterday and let it sink in. I had it playing in the background as I worked on this or that on my computer. And I’m not going to lie, it did not grab me instantly. One of the songs actually gave me a headache (Depravity….what is up with the screaming guitar, or maybe it is just screaming?).

It felt dark. It felt different. It felt like it wasn’t going to be my favorite of all of my RS collections, which is a shame. Because the fact that he’s even put this out and is still writing and creating and touring and all of that is amazing. I should love it. I should love every bit of it. Otherwise, I’m a bad fan.

I turned it off after a few spins. I slept on it, really bothered that I didn’t love love love it like I’d seen people posting online. “Best RS CD yet!” I read somewhere. Where was the love? Was this it for me? Have I really dropped off so far from the fan radar that I don’t even like what he’s doing these days?

The good news is no. That’s not the case.

I put the songs on my phone and started the playlist as I went to town on the treadmill this morning. No distractions, just me and the music. And finally, finally, there it was….I could feel it.

The connection. The awe at the turn of phrase. The need for the song to continue. On and on and on. So no, my first impressions were NOT correct. It’s going to be a good one. It may end up being one of my faves.

I’ll be going through the disc (the files? the digitals?) song by song, but for now, the ones that are really high on my list are Joshua (reminds me of my own son; they are the same age), Gabriel (need to really sit and let this one soak in….) and My Last Heartbeat (which I actually really hated when I first heard it). That line in there: “There’s a hole in my soul where the love leaks out, a shadow in my heart that’s filled with doubt, a devil on my back I can hear him shout….’let me in, let me in….’ “. LOVE. THAT.

So stay tuned. Next up, Review Part Two: Each And Every Song (That a Bad Fan Gets on the Download Only Version)

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