‘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.
Every song on Bruce Springsteen’s Devils & Dust lands like a shot to the gut by the protagonist of today’s Song of the Day.
The record is full of mournful tales of hard-luck characters beaten down by life but still struggling for some hint of redemption or, in the case of today’s protagonist, rest.
This album is more like a collection of short stories than a studio recording.
In 2005, Bruce Springsteen wasn’t in need of a comeback, but that’s how I viewed Devils & Dust. More accurately, this was the first of his albums that established him — for me — as a relevant contemporary artist.
I was familiar with his great work from previous decades but the only Springsteen album I’d bought upon release — The Rising — had disappointed me. Devils & Dust, on the other hand, inspired me.
I’m a Bruce Springsteen fan, but not a fanatic. I like his albums, but I’m not too keen on the idea of spending three sweaty hours watching The Boss blow the roof off of an arena.
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.