CD Review: Bruce Springsteen


By Taylor Toothman |

The Boss is back! His first album with the E Street Band since 2002’s “The Rising,” Bruce Springsteen bursts back into the musical scene doing what he does best with his 15th energetic rock CD “Magic,” which has already left critics and fans spellbound since its release on Oct. 2.

This is an excellent album that demonstrates musically what Springsteen himself has managed flawlessly: his style is unchanged, yet unquestionably modern and relevant in today’s ever-changing music world. No kidding, I have listened to this album backward and forward 12 times. Here’s why.

Bruce was born to run, and he hits the ground sprinting with “Radio Nowhere.” Since its introduction as a free iTunes Song of the Week download, track one has given fans a taste of the fun they are in for. Pounding guitars drive this hit, whose chorus calls “this is radio nowhere/ is there anyone alive out there.” Unfortunately, after the second chorus I just want to call back, “Yes, actually!” so maybe he’ll stop repeating himself and just go out of the booth to see.

Tenor saxophone wails out the intro to track three, “Livin’ In The Future,” the only song with a decisively political statement with lyrics like “woke up election day/ my ship Liberty sailed away on a bloody red horizon.” Sing-a-long “na na nas,” chimes and accordion tweak the dismal lyrics into head-bobbing synchrony. It’s a fantastic four minutes.

Lots of tambourines back Bruce’s mysteriously alluring, whisper-in-your-ear ballad, “Magic.” Lyrics like “I got a shiny blade/ all I need’s a volunteer/ I’ll cut you in half while you’re smiling ear to ear” have me wondering just who the bandito really is here.

Many of Bruce’s songs have the same chord progressions and don’t stray from his successful rock style, but then how would one recognize a classic artist if he doesn’t have a classic, signature sound? Renoir was Renoir. Shakespeare was Shakespeare. The Boss is, well, The Boss. Bruce Springsteen is a musical institution, a signature sound unto himself, and “Magic” is a welcome addition to his legacy. May he be a crazy rocker till the end.

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