Monday, October 01, 2007

"The Boss" creates 'Magic'


Bruce Springsteen can connect with fans like one other. It doesn't hurt to have the E Street Band along for the ride. With his 15th album Magic (Columbia/Sony Records) there is magic with every lyric sung by the Boss. There is a southern feel with the rythums and rythmes of its music, with that it is recorded in Altanla, GA but what makes it appealing is the backup of the band.

In addition, Springsteen pulls out all of his vocal tricks the breathy bluesman's bark, the ex-choirboy croon, the vaguely western hobo snarl and smiles as they sell so beautifully. He does the same thing with his lyrics; it seems impossible that this catechism-quoter could get away with another line like "Your tears, they fill the rosary / at your feet, my temple of bones," but within the somber repetitive setting of "I'll Work for Your Love," he does. Even for a lapsed Springsteenian like this critic, the sheer backbone of this album offers delight.

1. Radio Nowhere
2. You'll Be Comin' Down
3. Livin' in the Future
4. Your Own Worst Enemy
5. Gypsy Biker
6. Girls in Their Summer Clothes
7. I'll Work for Your Love
8. Magic
9. Last to Die
10. Long Walk Home
11. Devil's Arcade

"Magic" is a record of this moment Springsteen makes quiet reference to what he sees as an errant Bush administration and, alternately, to a marriage in its somewhat shaky midlife but it also aims for timelessness.

It's the way Springsteen injects his American Bible stories with the air of disbelief that makes "Magic" a truly mature and memorable album. He knows his fans need that rush, that jump outside their own feelings of disappointment and limitation, that he's given them for so long.

Rating: 5 out of 5

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