I’m much more drawn to his quieter music than the anthemy stuff. My favorite Springsteen albums before the millennium were Nebraska and Tunnel of Love.
In the past 6 years, though, he’s put out some of his very best material. Starting with Devils & Dust, moving on to the covers album We Shall Overcome and finally delivering last year’s Magic, he’s been on a run that should make him the envy of musicians half his age.
Of the three, Devils & Dust is probably my favorite. It’s somber and deep, populated with sad-sack characters at the end of their ropes. The album contains some of Springsteen’s most poetic lyrics, and his most thought-provoking.
Springsteen has always packed his music with Catholic imagery and this song is pretty direct in that way. It explores the Jesus story through Mary’s eyes — Springsteen has said he wanted to look at that profound story from the much simpler (but equally powerful) perspective of a woman who is losing a son.