The album finds the 71-year-old legend in a contemplative mood, mourning the deaths of past band members and looking back nostalgically at the way music shaped his life.
‘Leah’ os a lovely grace note in the middle of Bruce Springsteen’s 2005 album Devils & Dust, an otherwise somber collection. This song isn’t exactly ‘Walking on Sunshine,’ but compared to some of the downers on this record, it may as well be.
Springsteen has released a lot of good albums in the 15 years since Devils & Dust, but I’d call this record his last great one. It has an intimacy and power you don’t encounter very often.
In this case it’s Bruce Springsteen, whose 2012 album Wrecking Ball continued a strong run of material that started in the late 2000s. As with its predecessors, Magic and Working On a Dream, I really enjoyed this album upon its release but stopped listening after awhile.
Last week I featured a song from Bruce Springsteen’s 1973 album The Wild, the Innocent and the E-Street Shuffle. That classic album was Bruce’s sophomore effort, and amazingly he had released his debut the very same year.
In January of 1973, Springsteen hit the scene with Greetings From Asbury Park, NJ, an ambitious collection of wordy Dylan-esque folk songs sped up and set to a beat. Right out of the gate, Springsteen cast himself as a sensitive poet for working class dreamers, a mantle he would carry for more than five decades.
I’ve written about another of my favorite 1973 albums a number of times already. In fact, this is the fifth track from Bruce Springsteen’s The Wild, The Innocent & The E Street Shuffle I’ve posted as a Song of the Day. And the album has only seven songs.
In one of those posts, I described this as “an album bursting with musicality, theatricality and an infectious creative energy. Springsteen spins his street-smart character sketches with staccato bursts of bruiser poetry. The lyrics could pass for stream-of-conscious if they weren’t so meticulously shaped. Musically, the newly formed E-Street band tore through multiple genres, but mostly settled into a jazz-rock groove that makes every track feel like the world’s coolest lawn concert.”