What were you saying about Big Swing Face in 2002?

brh3It’s fun to look back… and we’re looking at what you thought of Bruce’s 2002 release Big Swing Face when it first came out. A stark departure from previous records with more synths and drum loops than piano, it prompted some fervent debate amongst followers. Do you see your name below…?

You can also have a say on the same record today… visit the Big Swing Face page!

Posted On: May 28, 2011 05:39:59 PM

Name: Joe

location: Chicago

thumbs: Thumbs down

thoughts: meh, could have lived without it.


Posted On: August 24, 2007 06:13:36 AM

Name: Phil

location: Kent, UK

thumbs: Thumbs in the middle

thoughts: I have been a big Bruce fan since I was a teenager. As a reasonably accomplished pianist myself, I worship the ground he walks on and would be honoured to polish his piano.

However, all the pop music I have ever liked has had a real, natural band feel to it. I love good musicians playing together. What Big Swing Face does is go for a much more processed and heavily produced sound, with heavier use of drum programming, which is just not to my liking.

I very much feel that as his albums have gone on, the proportion of high quality songs per album has decreased. On the first two albums I could name a dozen songs which I think are truly outstanding. But now, the last humdinger I think he has come up with is Swansong which is years old now. So too with Big Swing Face. I find the songs tuneless and lyrically wierd and the nearest I come to liking any of the tracks is with The Chill.

The combination of a sound I don’t like with songs that don’t inspire me makes this a real loser of an album for me.

However, should he have recorded it? YES!!! Absolutely. He is an artist. He does not have to make albums for me. I will go on buying his albums and see him every time he comes to the UK. At least when he does use samplers and the like, he is using them creatively and imaginatively, which is so much more than most people who use high-tech gear to make music these days. He still shows off his musicianship. He clearly wants to push the boat out with this record and do something which has not been done before. That is the sign of a true artist. Even if I don’t like the result, I still appreciate the fact that he is doing it.


Posted On: March 25, 2007 10:32:59 PM

Name: cary

location: new york

thumbs: Thumbs up

thoughts: Quite a strong album, especially live. Tunes like Place under the sun, the good life, the chill, and this too shall pass go from incredibly energetic to plain fun and then quite chilling. Big Swing Face is a far different feel than Hot house, and while the songs don’t always measure up i’m thankful for this release in the bruce catologue and look foward for one day getting to hear songs like Place Under the Sun live in person…until then i’ll have to listen from downloads!


Posted On: October 23, 2006 01:13:51 PM

Name: SpeedSk8er

location: NYC

thumbs: Thumbs up

thoughts: I let my friend have a listen to ‘Big Swing Face.’ My friend is a producer, an engineer, and a member of an indy-rock band. He’s not a Hornsby fan, per-se, and hasn’t kept up with his career much. So I figured he’d be an objective opinion, if there ever is one. He loves the album. I didn’t tell him who it is. I just turned on ‘Sticks and Stones.’ He couldn’t figure it out at first. Then I told him it’s Hornsby. His first comment was “Good for him!” I agree. The great songwriting is still there. But it’s kind of like Bruce meets Fatboy Slim and Beastie Boys. It took a few listenings. But overall, it’s a winner. I like that he challenged his fan base, and himself, with this project. That’s what truly good artists do. In the end, it’s about the music. And the music is what stands out. Tracks like ‘This Too Shall Pass’ or ‘The Good Life’ are some of the best Hornsby tunes ever, from any album.


Posted On: April 27, 2006 12:52:28 PM

Name: Cory

location: Gainesville, FL

thumbs: Thumbs up

thoughts: I think when you hear these songs live, you gain a better appreciation for what’s on the record.

It’s good stuff and easy to jam to.


Posted On: April 21, 2006 08:48:42 PM

Name: Jon Dowling

location: Easton, CT

thumbs: Thumbs down

thoughts: This record was a grave disappointment to me. Normally I love just about every song on Bruce’s record, both with and without the range, but moreso with the range(politics not withstanding.)

However on this record, I found myself liking only a couple of songs and strongly disliking the rest. I liked sticks and stons, this too shall pass and so out and that’s about it.


Posted On: March 06, 2006 08:20:14 PM

Name: CiCi

thumbs: Thumbs up

thoughts: Heck Yeah!!!!!! Whap em all upside the head!!!!!!!!

Can you tell that i really like it a little bit? Maybe more than a little bit… ahem.

Keep em comin’!!!!!

Rock on- and beware of the dreaded spoon!!!!!!!


Posted On: October 13, 2005 10:46:00 PM

Name: Chris Gentry

location: Bellingham, WA

thumbs: Thumbs up

thoughts: Would love to see more of the same styles in the new tunes! A fascinating and amazing album. Still listen to it often!


Posted On: October 13, 2005 10:30:38 PM

Name: Cynthia Gentry

location: Bellingham, WA

thumbs: Thumbs up

thoughts: Thought it was incredible. One of my favourites!! Love everything else of course, but miss the styles. 🙂


Posted On: May 12, 2005 10:18:52 PM

Name: Bryan Tatem

thumbs: Thumbs up

thoughts: One of the greatest qualities in Bruce is his ability to improvise, though not not my favorite, i think the album is great!


Posted On: April 14, 2005 05:51:52 PM

Name: Woody

location: Gettysburg, PA

thumbs: Thumbs up

thoughts: Any artist worth their salt needs to experiment and try new things. In my opinion, Big Swing Face was Sir Bruce’s venture into the rhythms and tempos of contemporary electronic, modern hip-hop/raps styles. I enjoyed the CD


Posted On: December 24, 2004 11:09:11 PM

Name: James Santiago

thumbs: Thumbs in the middle

thoughts: It did not seem like himself. I read somewhere that Bruce liked the album, but I really don’t know. It was adventurous but not in a ‘Bruce Hornsby’ kind of way. I feel as though Bruce Hornsby was missing from this album. He was missed. In spite of this, I liked The Chill.


Posted On: December 24, 2004 11:05:39 PM

Name: James Santiago

thumbs: Thumbs in the middle

thoughts: It did not seem like himself. I read somewhere that Bruce liked the album, but I really don’t know. It was adventurous but not in a ‘Bruce Hornsby’ kind of way. I feel as though Bruce Hornsby was missing from this album. He was missed.


Posted On: February 26, 2004 04:31:14 PM

Name: Paul K. Fetch

location: Sellersville, PA

thumbs: Thumbs up

thoughts: Liked it the first time I heard it. One of those records that improves each time you hear it. I think it ranks in his Top 3 with Southside and Live.


Posted On: February 18, 2004 07:22:29 PM

Name: Michael Arrington

location: Athens, Ohio, USA

thumbs: Thumbs in the middle

thoughts: Was it my favorite Hornsby album? No; “…Noisemakers” likely will always be my favorite. In fact, “Face” is my least favorite Hornsby CD — although that dosen’t make it a bad disc. Bruce’s worst work would stand up to the best releases of many of his contemporaries.

In addition, I have a great deal of respect for any artist who is willing to try something new. Lots of great musicians took chances — chances that did not always result in their best work (late Beatles, anyone?). But having the guts to take chances should help artists to grow in the long run.


Posted On: February 03, 2004 07:26:10 AM

Name: Carwyn Fowler

location: Cardiff, Wales

thumbs: Thumbs in the middle

thoughts: BSF poses a genuine dilemma for many Hornsby fans. On the one hand, ANY new record from Bruce is to be welcomed. Moreover, Bruce himself would also suggest that BSF represents an artistic development.

On the other hand, the record is a challenge to those of us who genuinely and profoundly belive examples of his previous work to be his best. My own favourite is SfSS (I STRESS: SfSS but NOT the Way it Is, or Night on the Town, which are probably only 6th or 7th favourite on my own personal ranking). I agree with the fan who suggests (on Hornsby’s official guestbbok?) that SfSS is probably one of the most overlooked albums of all time, not least by Hornsby fans themselves.)

Other fans might have ‘found’ Bruce through the Hot House – Harbor Lights phase. BSF is probably less of a ‘problem’ for these fans, but is nevertheless still a significant shift.

However, I have come to accept the album having heard a couple of BSF songs on live recordings, ‘Take out the Trash’ taking on a completely new complexion in the live version that I have.

Finally, ‘This Too Shall Pass’ probably ranks in the pantheon of most profound Bruce lyrics – alongside ‘Show Goes on’, ‘China Doll’, ‘Great Divide’ and ‘Fortunate Son’.


Posted On: January 30, 2004 02:48:25 PM

Name: Russell Stone

location: Chicago

thumbs: Thumbs up

thoughts: Liked it from the beginning.


Posted On: January 19, 2004 10:29:31 PM

Name: Mike Raabe location: Seattle, WA

thumbs: Thumbs up

thoughts: Very unique. Not for the Mom and the kids. I want to hear more, when is the next tour?here is the content


Posted On: April 13, 2003 05:52:05 PM

Name: jr

location: Honolulu

thumbs: Thumbs up

thoughts: Is that Leon Russell guesting on The Chill, or Bruce paying tribute?


Posted On: August 17, 2002 03:29:20 PM

Name: John

location: Richmond, Virginia USA

thumbs: Thumbs up

thoughts: I have been a loyal Virginia Bruce fan for over 10 years… His new sound is incredible… This guy’s got balls to experiment like this! Anybody who’s too closed-minded to invite his new tunes into their music library with open arms is missing quite an experience… Get this album, folks!


Posted On: August 08, 2002 01:08:21 PM

Name: Joe Ireland

location: Verona, NJ

thumbs: Thumbs down

thoughts: This record is a joke! it Stinks! He’s making a huge mistake making this. After this record flops he’ll be selling Cd’s out of his station wagon as the label will no doubt be dropping him. I can’t believe he agreed to make this record.


Posted On: August 04, 2002 12:35:08 PM

Name: Thomas location: Austria

thumbs: Thumbs up

thoughts: It is great, new, innovative and certainly not boring. Each song provides the possibility to discover new sounds and musical ideas. I really appreciate Bruce’s successful way to avoid any repetition or self-copying. Therefor I really enjoy listening to the new Cd.


Posted On: July 27, 2002 01:09:02 PM

Name: Joe Blotz

location: Philadelphia

thumbs: Thumbs up

thoughts: Too many people questioning WHY Bruce made a record like this. He’s an Artist, that’s WHY. He’s exploring a new avenue, that’s all, simple as that. Sure it’s different, is that a bad thing? My Mother always told me change is good. I don’t think he’s stuck with this sound forever now, he’ll probably go back to playing the piano on the next record. I think life is short and he made this record because he could, not because the record company or anyone else forced his hand. Bruce is a grown man with a hell of a history behind him, and I’m certain that he wouldn’t put out anything that he didn’t believe in. Enjoy it for what it is, GOOD MUSIC.


Posted On: July 27, 2002 09:44:31 AM

Name: olly

location: northern ireland

thumbs: Thumbs up thoughts: this album takes a couple of listens to get used to it but it does grow on you-the best songs on the album are ‘the chill’ ‘ big swing face’ ‘the good life’ and my favourite ‘this too shall pass’. keep up the good work, bruce!


Posted On: July 18, 2002 10:50:37 PM

Name: Scott P. location: Houston, TX

thumbs: Thumbs up

thoughts: The whole reason I started listening to (and eventually became a fan of) Bruce’s was his incredible piano aptitude and unique style, with particular affinity for his ballads like “The Show Goes On” and “Lost Soul”. But as I’ve continued over the past decade or so to follow Hornsby–and eagerly await each new release–I have accumulated a bucket full of admiration for two other Hornsby traits: his creativity and his willingness to say “screw off” to those who would attempt to place him into definitive boxes.

Both of these characteristics shine bright and clear on Big Swing Face. I admit it–I had to try this more than once. It took me three listens to the entire album to really get on board as a listener. But I was there the first time as a fan, because the sheer originality of this album is pure Hornsby, more pure Hornsby than any of us have probably seen before. And it’s a complete album, it’s not just another Bruce-as-you’d-expect-him with a couple of experimental tracks. He is going out on an artistic limb and not falling on his ass. I’m especially jammin with “The Chill” and “Sticks and Stones.” But they’re all great.

And to those who say that Bruce didn’t take as much care with his lyrics this time, I say “serves you right for always trying to find the ‘deeper meaning.'” Bruce’s lyrical genious shines through in that these words aren’t containable (or necessarily linear) philosophically, but they jam with rhyme and rhythm.


Posted On: July 18, 2002 06:58:45 PM

Name: Craig location: Falls Church, VA

thumbs: Thumbs up

thoughts: What the FUNK has Bruce done here?!?!

It took a while for me to fully absorb and appreciate this latest endeavor – but it was well worth the time. I am now totally hooked and can’t stop playing the album. Didn’t really like it all that much to begin with, but now I can’t wait to get on stage and dance to these new tunes.

Cartoons & Candy is easily the best track, but there isn’t really a bad song on the whole CD. And all these cry babies who are bitching about the new sound should take some comfort in the hints of the old days – like “The Way It Is” riff in “Take Out the Trash”.

Bruce sums it up best – This is so out/but I like it


Posted On: July 16, 2002 05:02:45 PM

Name: KZ location: Calera, AL

thumbs: Thumbs in the middle

thoughts: If someone would have handed me this record and said listen, I would have liked it. Problem is, much of it doesn’t sound like Bruce Hornsby singing. Many of the songs have an odd beat and begin to sound the same. While the beats are very sophisticated, it began to sound jumbled together to me.

It does not have the live sound his previous records such as “Hot House” had. It sounds like something a record company would have wanted him to cut. No Home Training is my favorite cut.


Posted On: July 16, 2002 09:13:20 AM

Name: Karen R.

location: Syracuse, NY

thumbs: Thumbs up

thoughts: I was really anticipating the release of BSF, not quite knowing what sound to expect. As I have been a major BRUCE fan from the very beginning{1986-when they still sold albums and not CD’s}, I knew I would not be disappointed! I love this CD! Even with “almost no piano”{ actually he plays 2 notes in Cartoons & Candy},Bruce can play piano, keyboards or accordian, and always sounds great! This is what I love most about Bruce…his ability to be versatile and diverse as a musician. Whether he plays solo, or with a symphony orchestra,from the Grateful Dead to playing bluegrass with Ricky Scaggs & Bela Fleck , how many musicians are out there that can do this-none that I can think of. I happen to like all of the tracks on BSF, but like tracks 1,2,4,5 & 7 the best! Whats really nice is that when my 3 teenagers, who have grown up having to always listen to Bruce, tell me to pop in this CD as we are cruising down the road,instead of Linkin Park or JaRule or something…well I just smile and happily oblige their request! The only negative part of this new CD is that the songs aren’t long in duration, they are all under 6 min. which is unusual for Bruce. Am with great anticipation to see the show next week in Verona!! I’m amazed at how many music critics we have out there that like to pick apart Bruce’s work. But as the many devoted Hornsby fans like myself,I believe we embrace BSF with open hearts and open ears! This new Cd is definitly a thumbs up…Thank you Bruce!


Posted On: July 14, 2002 09:23:18 AM

Name: Claus Barfoed

location: Copenhagen

thumbs: Thumbs in the middle

thoughts: Big Swing Face. Well…..It’s good. Very funky, very groovy. And not so beautiful! As with other Bruce-cd’s it’s getting better and better the more you here it. “This too shall pass” would have been very beautiful without the drums!! The “Prince choir” in Cartoons an candy is great. I love Bruces music, and in 14 days I’ll love BSF too, but it will never be my favorite Hornsby album.


Posted On: July 12, 2002 12:16:52 PM

Name: P. K. Fetch

location: Sellersville, PA

thumbs: Thumbs up thoughts: Bruce’s new CD was promoted over the past six months (to those of us who were solid fans) to be a completely different Bruce sound. No Bruce playing piano! New 21st century studio tricks thrown into the tracks! Old fans will be disappointed! I would disagree wholeheartedly. Big Swing Face rocks on practically all cuts and the new “stuff” makes the new album a terrific buy to old and new Hornsby devotees.

Upon first listen, the tracks step forward with more urgency than almost any previous Hornsby songlists. Loops, bells, whistles. . . A whole spectrum of sounds. But hidden within all the noise (interesting noise I might add) you can pick out classic Bruce vocal phrasing, keyboard playing and his inescapable ability to create his signature sound in a different way. Highlights include the opening number “Sticks & Stones” which from the first note, lets the listener in on the new sound. Track 2, “Cartoons & Candy” follows “Stones” lead. Both tracks percolate into grooves after starting out with odds blips and burps that force you to listenclosely to what may be coming up next.

Track 3 provides “The Chill” which (with “This Too Shall Pass”) may be the most Hornsby-like souding track on the album.

From there away you go. . . . Foot-tapping to “The Good Life”, “Try Anything Once”, and a rousing “Take Out the Trash”.

After moving and bouncing to those tunes, Bruce pulls out all stops with the most rock-driven number of his career, “So Out”. With minimal lyrical content, Bruce and his band pound home a rhythm-guitar heavy line and background vocals that sound like they were lifted from “The Wizard of Oz’s Wicked Witch’s military that builds to a solid crescendo on disc. I would imagine that this song, given Bruce’s in-concert ability to stretch and flesh-out his numbers, would be a show highlight.

Different Bruce? Absolutely. But give the man his due. He has earned the right to branch out and experiment and this CD has not only provided him with that outlet but may open some new eyes to a top-flight player.


Posted On: July 11, 2002 11:58:05 PM

Name: Dale Spamler

location: new orleans

thumbs: Thumbs up

thoughts: This CD will not leave my player. I never even listened to Hornsby before. I heard Sticks and stones on college radio and thought it was the new Dave Matthews. Is Bruces records all like this? If they are I missing something. I usually dont like piano players but I like this style, reminds me of Tom Petty meets Dave Matthews meets Prince

Very cool grooves really different sounds and a very new and different sound. This guy has a future!


Posted On: July 11, 2002 12:36:06 AM

Name: Paul D. location: Los Angeles, CA

thumbs: Thumbs up

thoughts: I hadn’t actually listened to a BH disc since “Harbor Lights”. I was impressed by this album from the minute it played. I’m a professional musician, so I know all the tricks and gimmicks that you can pull in the studio. Some popped up here and there on this disc, but I liked the dynamics and some of the “in-your-face” jams. Some of the tunes sound like, well…warmed-over Bruce Hornsby. I’m certainly not surprised by the folks I see on here finger-wagging about how this is some sellout CD to cater to those same young whipper-snappers that watch TRL & buy Linkin Park CD’s. Whatever…look, there were probably people expressing the same disdain when Aerosmith hooked up with Run DMC or when Geddy Lee started playing keyboards on Rush albums. The reality of the music business is…unless you’re Prince and put out albums on the net, you need to make music that will appeal to a broad audience. Also, artists really don’t grow unless they expand their horizons and go for different sounds. Luckily, Bruce isn’t pulling a “Chris Gaines” here. Anyway, I can go on about this, but back to “Big Swing Face”…the song I liked a lot was “Take Out The Trash”…sounds good live too from hearing the mp3 you can download here. Also like “Sticks & Stones” and “No Home Training”. Sure, a grand piano jam sounds good on any record, but I like the Fender Rhodes and the old-school organ touches on some tunes. Great guitar solos, too.


Posted On: July 10, 2002 09:37:59 PM

Name: T. David (OpenTune)

location: Midwest

thumbs: Thumbs down

thoughts: This is the first BRH album where I only cared for about half the cuts. I expect that from many artists whose music I buy, but never from Bruce. There are only 2 I am really enthusiastic about – Cartoons/Candy and No Home Training. There are 4 I don’t like at all, even if they were arranged differently(that’s never happened before)- Sticks, Chill, So Out, Place/Sun. I think I’d like the remaining 2 songs (BSF and This Shall Pass), but not the way they are presented on this CD.

Many of the lyrics seem, well, “careless”…almost as if to just get the song in the can. As for the arrangements and production choices, on some of them I wonder what Bruce really thought as he listened to those finished mixes.

But hey, I don’t think this bodes ill for the future. Bruce is a unique human being, a wonderful talent, and a “stand up guy”. I think This Too Shall Pass. In the end, this CD simply puzzles me.


Posted On: July 07, 2002 03:24:25 PM

Name: Andrew Sonnabend

location: Washington, DC

thumbs: Thumbs down

thoughts: Many artists inevitably experiment with their music and…FAIL MISERABLY. As sad as it makes me to say this: it is one of the worst albums I have listened to in years. I will always remain a HUGE Hornsby fan, but alas, this cd is surely headed towards becoming a coaster on my coffee table.


Posted On: July 04, 2002 01:17:40 AM

Name: Big Daddy

location: Denver, Colorado

thumbs: Thumbs up

thoughts: Any exceptional artist will always look to span the horizon looking where they can further excel. Bruce is a perfect example on this record of someone who is a leader not a follower in the music business. This new album shows the out of the box mentality that Bruce pushes himself to try and grasp as many people he can to love the music he produces. This Too Shall Pass I would have to say is my favorite. It has a groove that is top notch and to top it off you have the chilling effect of Steve Kimock on guitar. Tupac would be proud to see you pushing yourself as he did using your “Way It Is” in a different light a few years back. Thanks Again.


Posted On: July 03, 2002 11:38:32 PM

Name: john dermarkis

location: jpskid.com

thumbs: Thumbs up

thoughts: Being a drummer, I have to say that this record certainly grooves in that department. This is an awesome record for sure. Bruce likes to have fun and it shows..I believe that his band is going to be great to see live with the new stuff mixed in to the sets….

I can understand why some of those old diehard fans would be upset but COME ON brothers and sisters. This is Bruce the man, HERE and NOW! There is alot going on in this record. I feel saddened for the people who just aren’t hearing it with open ears. Bruce did not sell out on this record. Dave Bendeth played guitar on Spirit trail and he plays fantastically on this as well…Bruce’s keyboard work is exceptional. And his singing is as strong as it has ever been. I guess I am one of the lucky fans that can happily cross over with “The Changes”…………….


Posted On: July 01, 2002 04:04:34 AM

Name: Charl location: London, UK

thumbs: Thumbs up

thoughts: Ok, it took me 3 rounds of the CD to fall in love with it. It is new sound for Bruce that I like. I agree with everyone that it takes a while but the songs grow on you and I ended up getting to like it more and more. The song I fell in love with is This Too Shall Pass!! Bruce I say congrats on going into a new direction and as a fan I will stick by you! COME TO ENGLAND TO TOUR!!! PLEASE!!!!!


Posted On: July 01, 2002 02:31:13 AM

Name: Dirk Belig

location: Omaha Nebraska

thumbs: Thumbs up thoughts: what a wonderful record, by the way both All music guide and Yahoo shopping music don’t even have Bruce listed as a Keyboard player on BSF… maybe they know something we don’t…these people are not paying attention.


Posted On: July 01, 2002 12:24:34 AM

Name: Kevin location: San Francisco

thumbs: Thumbs up

thoughts: I had to listen to this album several times through before giving anything but a knee-jerk review. It is different, indeed, from much of Bruce’s earlier material but strong songwriting is still present. Favorite tracks: 1-6. These tracks display everything I like about Bruce. Memorable melodies that you feel. Strong lyrics that present familiar themes in fresh, original ways. This to me has always been Bruce’s strength.

Some of the later tracks (So Out, in particular) aren’t as interesting to me because the melodies are not as strong and the lyrics are pretty casual. Not everything has to be so serious of course, but I just didn’t feel a couple of the later tracks as much.

The New Sound:Bruce creates these soundscapes with a diverse set of tools. It sounds good and fresh so I don’t care that he didn’t play much piano.

I am curious about one thing:How were these tunes composed? With the drum machine/dance beat sound in mind? Or did they once sound like previous Bruce tunes that were juiced up in production? A tune like “This Too Shall Pass” could sound much like a Spirit Trail tune. I wonder whether it started out that way.

Oh, one more thing. Kimock is a welcome addition to any Bruce album! His lines on “The Chill” are intense and cut straight to the essence of the song. Pumped for Villa Montalvo. Thanks Bruce!


Posted On: June 30, 2002 09:07:04 PM

Name: Chris Swetala

location: Rolling Stone Magazine

thumbs: Thumbs up

thoughts: Admired by jazz aficionados, beloved by Deadheads, a Top Forty artist who has won three Grammy awards — including Best Bluegrass Recording — Bruce Hornsby is a musician continually attempting the new. He has played with Branford Marsalis, Jerry Garcia and Bela Fleck. And his latest album, Big Swing Face, is, no doubt, another effort meant to challenge expectations. Nearly synonymous with the piano, Hornsby, on this record, has abandoned it in favor of keyboards. “Sticks and Stones,” the opening track, sounds wonderfully harsh, jarring, the keyboard solo filled with synthesized beats. But softer, melodious tracks such as, “Big Swing Face” and “This Too Will Pass,” balance the harsher songs and feature lengthy guitar solos. Without piano, relying more upon guitar and keyboards, Hornsby’s latest effort has all the elements for an album with an unrecognizable sound. But his rocky, pop groove and voice — as strong as ever — remain unchanged, making this record unmistakably Bruce Hornsby. CHRISTOPHER SWETALA (June 25, 2002)


Posted On: June 30, 2002 08:47:03 PM

Name: Dave Bendeths shrink

location: Bellevue Pyschiatric wing 4

thumbs: Thumbs up

thoughts: I liked the comment about shooting Dave Bendeth. I mean who does this guy think he is making Bruce record all that music without even listening to his ideas. How could Dave make Bruce write all those lyrics and music and then force him to release it? Who does this guy think he is? what gall. I am going to counsel Dave and get him to stop being the big bad record company and let the artists take back their talent. Thank god Bruce didnt know what was happening or he would have likely put a stop to this nonsense, or even taken his name off it if he could….Dave must have drugged him for this, that is the only way this could have happened. I wonder if Bruce has even heard this CD?


Posted On: June 30, 2002 06:58:47 PM

Name: Richard Waters

location: North Carolina

thumbs: Thumbs in the middle

thoughts: To paraphrase Bruce: What the hell; I’ll buy anything once.


Posted On: June 30, 2002 05:58:15 PM

Name: Joseph Horning

location: Norristown, PA

thumbs: Thumbs down

thoughts: My GOD! Somebody shoot Dave Bendeth for forcing Bruce into making this album! Bruce is an excellant piano player, a creative lyricist and an awesome performer, but this album just reinforces my belief that producers and record companys don’t give a damn about the music, only what sounds will sell. Bruce you sold out on this one! You manufactured an album for a younger audience that has no clue as to what real music is.

You have a distinctive sound with your piano playing. You should have stuck to your guns and put the album out that you wanted too. Billy Joel once said that he never put an album out to fit in or be popular. He made albums the way he wanted to make them, and damn whoever didn’t like them. You should do the same.

Get back to making music, not noise. Computerized drumbeats don’t do anything for me, and neither does this album. It is unispiring, and unimaginative. Anyone who agrees with me should take this album back for a refund and explain to the sales clerk that it made you sick! Sorry Bruce, but I have to be honest!

That said, the only song on the album that I think comes close to anything you’ve done in the past is “The Chill.” It’s the only song on the album that I like.


Posted On: June 30, 2002 02:27:02 PM

Name: BJ

location: Wales, UK

thumbs: Thumbs up

thoughts: “What the hell, I’ll try anything once, got to keep an open mind this time”. It’s never going to be a hornsby classic, but 10/10 for stretching himself. I’m sure his future work will benefit from this very rhythmic diversion.


Posted On: June 30, 2002 01:16:17 PM

Name: Jay location: Louisville

thumbs: Thumbs down

thoughts: Let me preface this by saying that I have been a HUGE Bruce fan since he came out with his first album back in 1987. I definitely favor his earlier albums over his most recent, but Big Swing Face was a major disappointment in my book. I feel that Bruce is trying to spread himself out in too many different directions. Having a Bruce album with no piano is like hearing a Jimi Hendrix album with out the guitar. If I wanted to hear synthesizer funk I would by somebody else’s album. I listen to Bruce because I love his lyrics and his great piano playing. I would love to see Bruce make another album with the Range(remember them) and get back to the piano. That’s just my opinion. I am still a big Bruce fan and look forward to hearing him in concert and now look forward to him coming back with a strong album to make up for this dud.


Posted On: June 30, 2002 04:06:18 AM

Name: Si Twining

location: Newcastle, UK

thumbs: Thumbs up

thoughts: FINALLY, I got my copy! “Almost no piano”, huh? Actually, I don’t hear any at all … and I love it! I wasn’t too alarmed when I heard of Bruce’s (temporary) leaving the Baldwin behind, since the second set of Spirit Trail seemed to be hinting at this. What we’ve ended up with is a complete departure from what we’re used to, and I think a lot of new fans will pick up on this new record. Case in point – a friend who constantly derides me for playing Bruce heard “Try Anything Once” when he stopped by my house… said “At last! You’re playing some REAL music!” – closely followed by, “Who is it?!”. Favourites have to be “Take Out The Trash” and “The Good Life”. These are all going to be a blast live, when the challenge is going to be incorporating the piano into them. You know he’s up to it. Don’t worry, Bruce hasn’t forsaken the Baldwin – he’s already played a number of them solo! Cracking job, Bruce!


Posted On: June 29, 2002 05:21:05 PM

Name: Ginny

location: Lawrenceville, GA;USA

thumbs: Thumbs up

thoughts: I knew I would purchase the album with or without piano, but honestly my first reaction…what was he on? How did he get this album made?I didn’t really like it,but I listened and listened again; read the lyrics with and without the music and I began to hear, really hear Bruce’s voice. This is Bruce all the way. And why would we be so surprised, he has never worked within the “proverbial box” or been a slave to the pop scene. Isn’t that why we enjoyed his sound so much. I think it is fascinating that he would do this “sound”. Perhaps it has taken this long to get to this point of trust for us for him to give this to us?


Posted On: June 29, 2002 03:02:10 PM

Name: Kevin

location: Toronto, Ontario

thumbs: Thumbs up

thoughts: I have every Bruce album and was surprised when I heard that there would be no piano on BSF. But I never doubted Bruce, and I must say that this album is outstanding. People sometimes forget that Bruce is a solid songwriter and, first and foremost, a true musician. My first impression was very positive, but the album is growing on me with each listen. My favourite tracks are “The Chill” and “Place Under The Sun,” by I also love “Try Anything Once,” which I think could be a radio/video hit if RCA tried. My only criticism is that I think Bruce should have had a few more solos on the record. But Bruce has always been unselfish. You know, now that we have BSF, I wouldn’t be surprised if his next album is a solo piano record made at Yoshi’s. That’s the kind of guy Bruce is.


Posted On: June 28, 2002 07:12:46 PM

Name: Corey

ocation: US

thumbs: Thumbs up

thoughts: I was expecting the worse from the clips i’d heard, but was pleasantly surprised. Bruce is taking a very different turn on this record, aside from the “almost no piano” — I think some of the songs border on kind of techno music with the beats and all. Still good, although some of the slower songs are a little overproduced!


Posted On: June 28, 2002 05:46:06 PM

Name: Marc Tellepsen

location: Houston, Texas

thumbs: Thumbs up

thoughts: Bruce Hornsby never ceases to amaze me. I have always admired the risks he has taken over the years. I first saw Bruce at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo over ten years ago. I’ll never forget the tall 70 plus year old, complete with 10 gallon hat and rattlesnake boots, who was very skeptical when Bruce first came on but ended up bobbing up and down in his seat while Bruce’s bus driver danced on stage. For some reason, this album reminds me of that scene. I hope all the skeptics come around. Big Swing Face is pure enjoyment. Keep it up, Bruce, and many thanks to Simon for such a great site…


Posted On: June 28, 2002 04:42:47 PM

Name: Jim Lind

location: Two Harbors, MN

thumbs: Thumbs up

thoughts: Great album – I love the “new” sound…


Posted On: June 28, 2002 12:16:21 PM

Name: Scott

thumbs: Thumbs up

thoughts: Hey… say what you want about the change in style, but Bruce is still Bruce. This ablbum is just like the others, the songs are about real life situations not just sappy love songs that just about every other artist tries to replicate to win a Grammy! Go for it Bruce! His talent is and always will be on the piano, but that shouldn’t limit his imagination and desire to break from the norm and improve in other areas of his profession.


Posted On: June 28, 2002 04:32:42 AM

Name: Amanda

location: Tacoma, WA

thumbs: Thumbs in the middle

thoughts: I’ll have to listen to it a few more times to really form a solid opinion, but on first listen it seems very enjoyable! Definitely not typical Bruce, but that doesn’t make it any less intriguing. Interesting grooves, thoughtful lyrics, creative rhymes, plus that indefinable Hornsby “soul” add up to a very nice listening experience. My advice to those who haven’t yet heard it is this: Don’t go into it expecting Hornsby; pretend it’s some brand-new artist you’ve never heard before, and you’ll probably like it better.


Posted On: June 27, 2002 07:05:47 PM

Name: John

location: Long Island, New York

thumbs: Thumbs up

thoughts: GREAT! Was not sure since I like Hornsby on the piano, but I love this album. Great job.


Posted On: June 27, 2002 05:10:32 PM

Name: Rob Quicke

location: Chicago

thumbs: Thumbs in the middle

thoughts: OK – First listen so far – the thumbs will probably go up after a few more listens. The vocals seem very low in the mix at times – very much ‘groove’ dominated. That is – you might play this CD for an overall ‘vibe’ rather than each song standing out individually. Certainly you could put this CD on in the background and the average person might say that the whole CD ‘sounds the same’.

Full credit to Bruce for the risk in making an album like this – it’s a completely different style and it will probably grow on me like a fungus. Although not as accessible as his other albums, I’m convinced this CD will yield hidden fruits..!


Posted On: June 27, 2002 10:48:59 AM

Name: Don Noble

location: KY

thumbs: Thumbs down

thoughts: Bruce,

This album sounds too oversimplified and record company influenced. Its hard to believe that an artist who wrote a great song with a great point like “The Changes” would actually turn around and release an album like this. I could be wrong, maybe it wasn’t influenced by RCA, but it sure sounds like it.

“There’s nothing like a good “‘Trane” tune”

Best wishes on your new tour Bruce! Here’s to the next release and the return of the Bela Fleck, Pat Metheny sound! Don “work you over” Noble 🙂


Posted On: June 27, 2002 09:28:55 AM

Name: Jeremy Cionca

location: Plymouth, MI

thumbs: Thumbs up

thoughts: Please give this album a chance (at least 3 full listens). It’s gonna grow on you. Trust me. Has Bruce ever let you down before?


Posted On: June 27, 2002 04:14:08 AM

Name: Rob White

location: Shelby, NC

thumbs: Thumbs in the middle

thoughts: I hate to burn off of other afficiandos…but I’m 19, I’ve got my Moby albums, my Dave Matthews Band…and this sounds somewhere in the middle, but seems a little more like a bastard child of the two. The solo sections, both in keyboard and guitar, are indicative of the jam-band style of the Hornsby that concertgoers love, but mixed with the electronic sound that tends to sit solidly in control of TRL, a questionable result is produced. Though not intentional, I felt like this was an almost slap in the face to pop music…that if you were to take an older hand, one with talent to spare, and give him such an experimental, almost shallow direction to go in, he’d yield a lukewarm result.

That’s not to say the album is without its strong points, and signs of evolution within Hornsby’s style. The Chill sounds like one of his signature dark tales, given a new, fresh spin. My favorite track, “This Too Shall Pass,” features an extremely catchy drum riff attached to lyrics that carry an inspirational tune.

This album is a mix of good and lackluster tracks. If this is a new deviation, let him deviate only so far. Too far takes him away from the style that he has spent so many years to perfect.


Posted On: June 27, 2002 12:43:38 AM

Name: Walter Sunfield

location: San Diego!

thumbs: Thumbs up

thoughts: I have to be honest I never really liked Bruce Hornsby. In fact I have never bought a Hornsby record. A friend of mine told me it was cool and I usually dont try anything new…until today..THIS RECORD ROCKS! wow, I cant believe these old die hards living in the past, these “fans” are all turncoats and dont really appreciate this work. The record is grooving, lyrics fantastic, great melody and modern sound. I dont even like piano players, just great music. Bruce its too bad your fans are stuck in the past, luckily I am only 21 and this record goes with my Moby, Cocteau twins and Dave Matthews records. I am now a Hornsby fan and cant wait to hear this all live. My favorite tracks are the chill, try anything and this too shall pass…..hopefully your real fans will welcome the change and listen with open ears..I did


Posted On: June 26, 2002 10:13:42 PM

Name: Bill Shelton

location: Salt Lake City, Utah

thumbs: Thumbs up

thoughts: Very daring move but his talent showed through. Its a different sound but his fantastic voice and amazing keyboard work will no doubt make this a regular on my Cd player. Def Leppard had “Slang” which was a new way to go for them but like Bruce they took the risk and became a more versatile and exciting band to see in concert and listen to at home. Lets all hope Bruce keeps giving us his music anyway he wants. thanks, Bill Shelton


Posted On: June 26, 2002 07:52:26 PM

Name: ~Z~

location: queens, baby!!

thumbs: Thumbs up

thoughts: i love it. i absolutely love it. the more i listen to it, the more i love it. I can’t get “The Chill” out of my head. The title track, and “The Good Life” are other favorites. I love the overall sound of the album. i can’t wait to hear this music live!! z


Posted On: June 26, 2002 05:43:10 PM

Name: Steven F

location: Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

thumbs: Thumbs down


Posted On: June 26, 2002 03:55:08 PM

Name: PK

thumbs: Thumbs down

thoughts: Except for “The Chill” and “The Good Life,” I don’t see myself ever listening to this CD again. It’s definitely something different. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it Bruce, and it ain’t broke!

Posted On: June 26, 2002 12:08:41 PM


Name: John Blu

location: Salt Lake City, UT

thumbs: Thumbs up

thoughts: No doubt about it… this cd is a blast!! Ok, first time I heard the snippets of a few tracks last month, I was like many others and easily breathed the ‘what the hell??’ remark. But after picking up the cd and listening to these new and unique sounds of Bruce, things began to grow more and more on me very quickly. God, I cannot wait to hear ‘This Too Shall Pass’ live!!! That song, in my humble opinion, is this awesome techno-lized dead head type cut. I noticed some have commented on what they perceive as poor lyrics, but the words to this song are fantastic, and are definitely pulling at the soul of life… expressing the whole ‘all I see is a hazy shade gray’ or ‘pastures of plenty’ type theme. Way to go Bruce!

I’m still soaking up much more on the cd, but I’ve already played ‘The Chill’ and ‘The Good Life’ over and over. And when I said I think this cd is a blast, ‘Cartoons and Candy’ was pumping through my headphones.

My only criticism, if you call it that, is that I wish Bruce had put a Song E and/or Song F on here… a solo of him jamming on a hammond organ, or some other vintage or new synth sound that we hear throughout most of the tracks, like in the second half of ‘Take Out The Trash’, for example. That would have been suh-weet!

Bottomline… I think this new release from the man is one ‘bad mama jama’, as I heard Bruce have said on one of the tracks… nice Carl Carlton reference Bruce!

Being able to listen to the latest goods from Bruce only means we’re all living ‘the good life’. Right on.


Posted On: June 26, 2002 11:40:44 AM

Name: TonyB

location: Belmont, MA

thumbs: Thumbs in the middle

thoughts: At first listen, this album comes off as a fun, bouncy side-trip in the spirit of the song “Try anything once.” But closer listening reveals that this album is just as socially conscious, if not more, than previous albums. Not only are most songs a social warning, the bouncy melodies barely conceal the melancholy mood of many of the lyrics, such as “This is so out,” a song about someone trying unsuccessfully to convince himself that rave parties and ecstasy drugs are making him happy, or “Living the Good life,” about another person seeking unsuccessfully for happiness in material goods. “The Chill” talks of someone not sure if the thrill of some horrendous act is worth it. The Album closes out with “Place in the sun,” another bouncy melody about a person who drifts from fad to fad trying to find himself, but never seems to.

All in all, it was a an interesting journey to capture the real nature of the album. This will definitely always be one of the most “interesting” and complex works by Bruce Hornsby, although I am excited for a return to some more traditional melodies with less heavy lyrics at the same time.


Posted On: June 26, 2002 11:33:31 AM

Name: Mark in Wisconsin

location: Well, Wisconsin!

thumbs: Thumbs up

thoughts: I think the comments from you thumbs-up folks are right on target. Bruce has obviously taken a huge risk with BSF and that’s where the fun is. It proves again to me that Bruce is an artistic musician who is willing to explore many different mediums. For me, this is what makes the his music fascinating. It’s just not what you expect to hear, instead the unexpected surprises and entertains. No doubt, taking the improvs to these tunes on stage will result in some unbelievable performances by Bruce and the band. Who’s to say that the old Baldwin won’t come into play when the new tunes hit the road? Plus, Bruce live on an old Wurly could be extremely amusing. And can you imagine live hip-hop accordion jams? Woah! So, thanks Bruce for this one. I consider it a real gift that just gets better every time I open it up! There are two things that I’m really looking forward to: the first is the Bruce show in Chicago next month and the second is to see what road Bruce decides to take on his next release!

Peace always,

Mark in Wisconsin


Posted On: June 26, 2002 09:35:22 AM

Name: rnvp87

thumbs: Thumbs down

thoughts: Mr. Hornsby,

as a huge fan from your beginning, your piano has attracted me to your music, you make it sound like a big wave hitting the shore on my favorite beach in Hawaii, but this album seems to drive the rats out from under the dumpster. I do realize that expression is part of making music, but where was this suppose to go. I am so so sorry for the harsh criticism, and frankly I am the most optimistic person you will meet and frankly I expected more from you. You are way to talented to put this album out….were you rushed by your label, were you pressured by the family, do you really need the money???? I will continue to listen to it because maybe I am missing something and it will hit me later.

Please back to the roots….or as I tell my marketing department at my company…lets get back to basic’s…this is what sell’s

(I am sorry if I offended anyone)


Posted On: June 26, 2002 04:38:43 AM

Name: Marty Sammon

location: Chicago IL

thumbs: Thumbs up

thoughts: I’m a huge Bruce fan for a long time. This record is very different of course but I went in with an open mind. I love Bruce’s piano sound so,at first I was a little turned off but the more I listen, the more I dig this. Way to go Bruce for doing a record totally different from his others. That takes balls. Great lyrics. I could use a little more varity in sounds and musical styles but for the most part, Thumbs up!


Posted On: June 25, 2002 07:10:18 PM

Name: Parker Leake

location: Macon Georgia

thumbs: Thumbs up

thoughts: This CD explores the range of verbal percussion as a music form and takes it to incredible new places. Much like a beat poet laying down his vibe to a non poetic beat. Particularly amazing is the steady drive and the seamless weaving of musical themes and influences. Had there been just a couple of songs like these they would have stood out in too stark a contrast to what people expect from him. Giving the CD over to a total expression of this sound gives it power! I look forward to these songs in concert as they are well written and Bruce will flesh them out musically. Verdict: While Hornsby fans expect “range” (sorry), for some this will be “Revolver” after “Rubber Soul”. To me it shows the best is yet to come.


Posted On: June 25, 2002 04:16:33 PM

Name: jim

location: oc, california

thumbs: Thumbs up

thoughts: Maybe I had my expectations lowered by the snippets of the album that were posted on Bruce’s official site, but so far I think this is a smart, funky album. While the lack of piano is a big change, BSF really doesn’t seem like too much of a departure from disk 2 of Spirit Trail. Both are attempts by BH to get back on the radio, which is fine with me. I generally hate electronic music (in the words of Chandler, it has no soul), but here Bruce proves that his ears are as good or better than his chops. This will stay in my disk changer for at least a few weeks.


Posted On: June 25, 2002 12:41:10 PM

Name: Jon Hammer

location: Powell, Ohio

thumbs: Thumbs up

thoughts: No doubt that this is a departure from Bruce’s last couple of albums. But then again, Bruce made a departure from the pop/top 40 scene that he had with The Way It Is and Scenes From the Southside. Back then, he asked us to trust him and follow him along his musical journey. We did and were rewarded for it. I think he’s asking us to do the same now.

I’ve listened to the CD once, so far, but I have to admit that its catchy. I don’t think this is his best album in terms of lyrics, however. I think the real test will be how he sounds live with these songs. That’s where Bruce really shines and I expect him to shine with these songs just as he has shined with the rest of his catalog.


Posted On: June 24, 2002 12:23:27 PM

Name: Charlie

location: NH

thumbs: Thumbs in the middle

thoughts: I would like to think that this CD is Bruce’s attempt at saying “what the hell, try anything once”. And he has. There’s some good stuff on this CD, but there are also a few clunkers. Big Swing Face (IMHO) is the worst cut, but even here, there are a few guitar licks which remind me of some songs on Spirit Trail. Cartoons and Candy is just plain fun. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a Bruce song like it that made me laugh out loud like that one. Favorites are “the Chill”, “Take Out the Trash”, and “the Good Life”. As nice as this CD is, that’s all it is though. I don’t think over time this set of songs will last with me as some of Bruce’s other stuff. While I love to see Bruce evolve as an artist, it’s a shame he’s forsaken the instrument that makes me love to listen to his stuff. I hope the piano comes back soon on a future CD.


Posted On: June 23, 2002 07:16:11 PM

Name: Cory

location: Nebraska

thumbs: Thumbs up

thoughts: I dig pretty much anything Hornsby does and Big Swing Face is no exception. The guy is a talented and versatile musician. We just need to take the time to open up our ears and give it a listen. I’m interested to see how he’ll pull off doing these songs at some of his gigs. My favorite songs include: Living the Good Life, So Out, No Home Training and This Too Shall Pass. I’m looking forward to seeing Bruce this summer at Westbury Music Fair.


Posted On: June 22, 2002 11:36:47 AM

Name: long tall cool one location: Dallas TX

thumbs: Thumbs up

thoughts: Progress often requires that you drag kicking and screaming people along with you. Sometimes you just have to say WTF. Stir the pot. Try anything once.

I think the record company had a lot of influence on this record, and I don’t think that is such a bad thing. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the old Bruce sound – all of it. But in the first 2 days of listening, I have discovered a lot that I like about Big Swing Face. My current favorites are “Sticks and Stones”, “The Chill”, and “The Good Life”.

Will BSF be my favorite Bruce CD? Probably not. Will there be songs from BSF that will be on my “Bruce Hornsby Favorites” playlist? Yes. I would like to think that I have a lot of Bruce Hornsby music to look forward to, and if this record helps to expand his audience and loyal fandom and pushes his creative envelope than I am all for it. It will be interesting to see how BSF reverberates on future records.


Posted On: June 22, 2002 10:11:01 AM

Name: Bert Kozak

location: Louisville Kentucky

thumbs: Thumbs up

thoughts: Well just got the cd today and I have listened to it a few times. This record is really incredible. Thank god some artists are willing to take a risk in this day and age. Its always been a shame that Bruce hasn’t sold more records and this might be the record that opens up his audience. It always amazed me when artistes released great records and no one ever bought them and I thought Spirit Trail was great and seemed to be a sales failure. This might be the record that brings Bruce back into the mainstream.


Posted On: June 21, 2002 03:53:35 PM

Name: Lee Owen

location: Greensboro, NC

thumbs: Thumbs in the middle

thoughts: Let me start by saying that if given the option, I would have ranked BSF “thumbs at a 45-degree angle pointing upwards”. I like it, and there are a few tunes on BSF that I think will become solid Bruce songs for me, but I’m such a huge fan of the previous stuff that I can’t possibly say this is one of my favorite albums of his.

Having listened to the CD for a grand total of 2 1/2 days, it seems to me that Bruce is going through a phase similar to the one Harry Connick, Jr., went through with two albums in the mid 90s (“She” and “Star Turtle”). They were completely different from his older, big-band stuff. So what happened? His next album was a combination of the two. I’m holding out hope that Bruce will do the same by combining the fun and hipness of BSF with the clear piano and vocal prowess of his first three records, and the improvement/jazz/soul of his next three/four (depending on whether you count Noisemakers as a seperate release or not).

My favorite tracks from BSF, if anyone cares, are “The Good Life”, “The Chill,” and “Sticks & Stones”. The only one I can honestly say I dislike, strangely enough, is the title track.

Anyway, I feared the worst when Bruce said he wouldn’t be playing much piano on the record, but at least I didn’t have same the reaction my wife did when she bought Connick’s “She” and honestly thought someone had put the wrong CD in the package after listening to it.

This is still a Hornsby record. I just hope the next one sounds more like Hot House or updated versions of songs on Southside and Night on the Town.


Posted On: June 21, 2002 10:10:26 AM

Name: Geno

thumbs: Thumbs up

thoughts: Almost no piano. On a Hornsby record.

Huh? That’s like a Tarantino movie where nobody gets shot.

Well, we pretty much know what to expect from that. Bruce probably isn’t taking up shred guitar anytime soon, so that means the new disc is full of different keyboards, organs and effects. Bruce is like a kid in a candy store. No reason to get all surprised about it; didn’t he do almost the same thing on the second half of Spirit Trail?

The bigger change on this disc is his approach to songwriting. Several tracks are based more in simple grooves than verse/chorus melodies (“No Home Training,” “Big Swing Face” etc). And then the tunes that are melody-based are still full of little tricks. “This Too Shall Pass” starts with an icy organ background and suddenly turns techno with a crazy drum beat. “Try Anything Once” is practically hip-hop. “Sticks & Stones” sounds like Brian Eno hopped up on crack.

Hard to pick a favorite, but I’m particularly loving “Sticks & Stones,” “Living the Good Life” and “Place Under the Sun.” It’s got the same fun-upbeat-rock-funk beat to it as Spirit Trail or Hot House, new sound and all. Give it a chance, give it a few listens, and be ready to shake something once the groove takes over.


Posted On: June 21, 2002 09:53:12 AM

Name: GreyGhost00

thumbs: Thumbs in the middle

thoughts: The hype for this album’s “different” sound was great, so I listened with a very open mind. After listening to it for a day, I’ve gotta agree with some others and say I’m still undecided. I’ve tentatively dubbed the album “Bruce’s Acid Trip,” for it’s different sounding and disjointed flow. However, the one thing that is still apparent are the signature Hornsby harmonies – they’re just done MUCH differently with this album.

IMHO, “The Chill” and “Living the Good Life” are the strongest tracks, worthy of inclusion with other BH standards. “This too shall pass” and “Take out the Trash” are a notch below. Everything else hasn’t grown on me – yet. That’s not to say that they are bad, but like most here when I listen to BH, it’s for a certain sound/style. This might not be an album I reach for when sitting down to listen to music on the deck…

In all, I think this was a great experiment and it’s nice to see BH expand his boundaries. My hope is that going forward we’ll see more of the old, a little of the “new” and perhaps some in-between styles that may result from BH’s effort on this album.


Posted On: June 21, 2002 09:33:21 AM

Name: DAVID VINCENT

location: BOSTON MA.

thumbs: Thumbs up

thoughts: GOT IT YESTERDAY AND HAVEN’T HEARD THE WHOLE THING NOTE FOR NOTE BUT IN SCANNING THORUGH LIVING THE GOOD LIFE AND TRY ANYTHING ONCE WERE GREAT. I READ ANOTHER REVIEW IN THIS SITE ON THE GOOD LIFE WITH A THUMBS DOWN AND THAT GUY JUST DIDN’T GET IT. THIS SONG HIT HIT ME TO A TEE AND A LAUGHED THROUGH IT THE FIRST TIME AND HAVE LISTNED TO ABOUT SIX TIMES WITHOUT THE REST OF THE ALBUM YET. TRY ANYTHING ONCE COULDN’T BE ANYMORE RIGHT WITH A TITTLE. LOOSEN UP THE REST OF YOU. AS A LONG TIME FAN I KNOW THERE IS ANOTHER “TRADITIONAL BRUCE” DISK RIGHT BEHIND THIS (HOPEFULLY SO I HAVE HEARD). FOR THE TIME BEING I WILL ENJOY THIS TRIP. THANKS AGAIN BRUCE.


Posted On: June 20, 2002 10:34:06 PM

Name: Nathan

location: Va Beach, Virginia

thumbs: Thumbs down

thoughts: I’ve been a huge fan of Bruce for many years, and it takes alot for me to not enjoy his music, BUT, I’m not sure this album will grow on me.

In my opinion, music is enjoyable because of musical talent and/or the listener can relate to the lyrics. While I feel this album does display interesting rhyhtm & beat, I can’t relate to the lyrics because they’re largely unintelligible, and they focus to much on rhyme. I have always been drawn to the wonderful sounds of the ivory, which are absent on this album.

Bruce’s prior lyrics included powerful social and political commentary at times (“The Way It Is” and most of “Spirit Trail” and “Harbor Lights”) and also strong emotions (“fields of grey” & “Fortunate Son” et al). I think these songs enabled Bruce to showcase his talents as a vocalist much better than the current album.

I guess I’m somewhat disappointed also because I don’t want to wait another two years for Bruce to produce another album that emphasizes his lyrical, vocal and piano talents. On another note, I’ve only listened to the album three times, so I’m not writing it off yet…sometimes it takes a few listens to catch on! Of course, this is all my opinion, and I certainly hope that the majority of listeners enjoy the album.


Posted On: June 20, 2002 01:19:31 PM

Name: Jon Dowling

location: Bergenfield, New Jersey

thumbs: Thumbs in the middle

thoughts: Well, one things for sure. This one’s going to take a lot of listening repeatedly for me to know how i really feel aobut this befuddled creation, but now the jury’s out for me humbly.

It’s as if Bruce took a lot of impromptu slang sayings he used at previous concerts and worked them into these tunes. I liked certain tunes more than I thought I would form the clips i heard online, and others vice versa. He really took some serious chances with this one and brought a lot of his southern blackness and should from his roots into this recording.

A lot of the lyrics I was like, yeah I know exactly what he meant there, and other times I was like, what the hell is he talking about???

But to be sure, he is an original, a one of a kind. I hope this works for him, but I would still really like to see some of the hooks and good vibes he used to have on the way it is return in his songwriting, and to have that sense of a complete band feel, and not have it so scattered, so to speak.

All the best Bruce, I look forward to your acting debut this weekend on Arliss.


Posted On: June 20, 2002 01:34:05 AM

Name: Jim J.

location: Virginia

thumbs: Thumbs in the middle

thoughts: I admit that it may take some repeated listening to get this album…but right now, i’m kinda on the fence on this one…at times, I like what this album is about…but songs like So Out or the title track just subtract from the positives of this album…it’s almost like there’s too much going on at points in the album…oh well though, it’s still bruce..and i’ll still listen to it…over and over and over and over again….


Posted On: June 19, 2002 10:56:05 PM

Name: Keith

location: ThisSideOfHeaven, MD

thumbs: Thumbs up

thoughts: Thumbs & heels Up! If you don’t feel like dancing while listening to ‘Take Out the Trash’ you’re dead. Maybe these songs will keep the crowds from sitting down. I thought I’d miss the signature piano sound, but the electric keyboards & organ, great bass & drum sounds just make ya want to move! I’d like to hear some of the old songs sped up & funk’d up to sound like these.


Posted On: June 19, 2002 09:58:08 PM

Name: Nick

location: Williamsburg, VA

thumbs: Thumbs up

thoughts: This record is an absolute blast! As any true Hornsby fan knows, you’ve got to expect the unexpected. Don’t go looking for a comfort zone with Bruce because he can’t live there. Like all great artists Bruce is restless, curious, inventive and never one to live in the past. If you’re hip to the trip then hop aboard and hold on ’cause he can take places you’ve never been.

“Somebody cracks you upside the head

Makes you forget everything you read…

What the hell try anything once…

Gotta keep an open mind in these crazy times”

BR Hornsby “Try Anything Once”

Remember, The more you love music…the more music you love


Posted On: June 19, 2002 12:41:34 PM

Name: Trent

location: Virginia

thumbs: Thumbs up

thoughts: Well I really like where Bruce is going with BSF. It looks as if Bruce is going for that “something deeper” that many people have tried to find in their life at one point or another. Songs seem to either be incredibly deep or very slapstick. I really like Sticks and Stones, The Chill, and This Too Shall Pass, but songs like Cartoons and Candy and The Good Life keep me from wanting to go criusing around to this album. I think The Chill could be a pretty radio hit if the minute long spaced out intro was trimmed a little.


Posted On: June 18, 2002 11:15:45 PM

Name: Clark

location: Norfolk, VA

thumbs: Thumbs down

 

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