Tuesday, October 02, 2007


I'm a huge Springsteen fan. When The Rising came out, I was at a MNA conference in Atlanta. I skipped a session in the morning on the day it came out and bought the album. I went back to my room and listened to it on my CD player...and wept. It was the title track especially that moved me--the imagery of resurrection tied with the poignancy of the dead firefighter (who died during 9/11) longing to be reunited with his wife--was more than I could handle.

There are new tears of joy today because the new E Street band album, Magic, came out today. Unlike The Rising, which only had a few outstanding tracks ("Lonesome Day," "Mary's Place," "The Rising," and "My City of Ruins" were the keepers), this album evokes so many of the best Springsteen and E Street Band moments--from "Long Walk Home" (which has the feel of "This Hard Land") to "I'll Work for Your Love" (the Roy Bittian beginning echos "Thunder Road") and "Livin' in the Future" (which has hints of early complex rhymes that Bruce used to do on Greetings from Asbury Park and ties to "Tenth Street Freeze-Out"). There are also nods to Pet Sounds-era Beach Boys ("Your Own Worst Enemy") and Dylan ("I'll Work for Your Love").

In the end, it will be interesting how this album wears over time. I listened to The Rising hard for three years or so; now many of the songs feel hackneyed (which is the same feeling I have for most of Born in the USA, especially the songs that had the most radio airplay). The two classic Springsteen and E Street Band albums--Born to Run and Darkness on the Edge of Town--never feel old even though I've listened to them over and over (especially "Thunder Road," "Born to Run," and "Candy's Room" each of which I've probably heard 500 times [no exaggeration]). Will songs from Magic have that staying power? If so, then the Boss will have truly been magical.


Martin Downes said...

Your enthusiasm encouraged me to buy the album (I haven't listened to Springsteen since the early 90s).

J said...

Excellent. I was hoping to hear more about this album, actually. Glad to hear you like it. I am a Springsteen fan. He has aged well without getting too soft or irrelevant.