The title track off the more effective album of Bruce’s double-release in 1992, “Lucky Town” is a solid grinder that benefits from an excellent driving chorus and an overall tight performance. Not a lot of wasted energy here, and it’s also one of Springsteen’s strongest vocals of that time period. He really sounds like a man who has followed the hard road the lyrics depict, even as a grizzled optimism still shines through.
Springsteen also pulls off the neat trick of making what is essentially a one-man performance (with the exception of Gary Mallabar on drums) sound like the work of a cohesive combo. His guitar work is fine, restrained but still clearly expressing powerful emotions.
The lyrics actually travel a similar path as “Better Days” off the same album, but the darker aspects of the music and some solid one-liners (“I had some victory, it was just failure in deceit”) make the hopefulness of the chorus seem more hard-earned and realistic. Bruce admits to self-destructive tendencies (“Here’s to the loaded places that we take ourselves”) but ultimately finds, in “Lucky Town,” a welcoming, forgiving home.
And a big thank you to the unknown artist!