Friday, December 21, 2007

--Rediscovery of the Year

Bruce Springsteen

I feel like I’m cheating here. How can a guy who’s recorded one of my favorite albums of time, performed two of my Top 20 shows of all time and placed an album in the Top 10 in 2002 and made the reissue list in the past two years be a rediscovery? It’s not like I went long periods of time without listening to his music. I’ve probably played Born to Run at least three times a year for the past two decades or more. Yet The Boss’s last two projects, 2005’s Devils and Dust and 2006’s We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions, felt to me forced and faked. It’s as if the success of the E Street Band reunion and The Rising tours empowered Springsteen to do other music just to prove he was more than just the guy who entertained and enthralled arenas. I can understand that from and artistic standpoint, but left turns like Nebraska or Tunnel of Love always felt real and part of Springsteen’s musical (and with Tunnel, real) persona. Devils and The Seeger Sessions didn’t. What washed away my distaste for the past two years was covering the Music of Bruce Springsteen show at Carnegie Hall. The joy the Hold Steady showed that night reinspired my respect for his music. I found myself listening to his entire catalog throughout the next few months—The Wild, The Innocent and the E Street Shuffle was essential for those late nights as I waited for the F train at Bergen Street. Darkness on the Edge of Town was great for when I was ticked at something. Greetings from Asbury Park was perfect for work, as it’s one of two albums from his catalog I can play without putting headphones. And with Magic being such a great album, I guess my rediscovery came during a perfect year.

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