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Nils Lofgren

Old School

(MvD; US: 6 Dec 2011; UK: 5 Dec 2011)

If there’s a canon of legendary rock guitarists, Nils Lofgren likely occupies a spot on it. He may not have immediate name recognition, but his almost 30-year tenure as part of the E Street Band has revealed him to be a very talented guitar player. Unfortunately, his new solo outing is not as indicative of his talent as is his tenure with the folks of E Street.


Old School is likely to appeal to die-hard fans of Lofgren and maybe some fans of bluesy guitar solos, but to those unfamiliar with Lofgren’s career the album will sound aged in both sonic and lyric. The album gets off to an unintentionally hilarious start with the title track, a rumination on how times have changed for parents who have to deal with all these “teens hooked on drugs.” As if the premise wasn’t already somewhat exaggerated, the lyrics only get better from there:


I need a 24/7 sexting cell
Or I’ll kill myself and see you in hell
Dad it’s all your fault that my life sucks
Oh by the way I need a hundred bucks


This album ain’t for the kids, mostly because it spends so much time making fun of them. Plus, it’s a little difficult to be young and relate to a song called “60 is the New 18”. All in all, Lofgren’s skill on the frets is as evident as ever, but the music never rises above the level of good jam fare and the lyrics ... well, they have a certain humor about them, unwanted as it may be.

Rating:

Brice Ezell has written for PopMatters since 2011. He loves to write about music of any kind, literature, film, television, and philosophy. His writing also appears in Sea of Tranquility and Glide Magazine (formerly Hidden Track). His short story, "Belle de Jour," was published in 67 Press' inaugural publication The Salmagundi: An Anthology. You can follow his attempts at wit on Twitter and Tumblr if you're so inclined. He lives in Chicago.


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