Thirty-five years as a justifiable rock musician allows Bruce Springsteen an opinion on the state of over-the-air radio, and he takes it--and takes the medium to the woodshed on the ruthless "Radio Nowhere." The opening smash sets the tone, with the ageless Boss wondering, "Is there anybody out there?" before imploring, "I just want to hear some rhythm." Then, with E Street Band in tow, Springsteen goes on to retrace every step between here and Greetings from Asbury Park
, hand-delivering more could-be, would-be hits than anything he's done since Born in the USA
. Credit producer Brendan O'Brien for the wall of sound that backs "Girls in Their Summer Clothes," which sets the atmosphere for one of the great vocal performances by Springsteen, who plays the misfit "in the cool of the evening light" watching the girls "pass me by." With piano, glockenspiel, and infinite guitars, the rocker "I'll Work for Your Love" recalls The River
, with Springsteen even settling for blue-collar hero in matters of the heart. "Livin' in the Future" could be an out-take from Darkness on the Edge of Town
, with shades of Election Day blasting away with the boastful sax of Clarence Clemons and Little Steven's relentless backing vocals. There's even a hint of Nebraska
on "Terry's Song," an earnest (and mostly solo) accolade with Springsteen acknowledging the death of a friend: "When they built you, brother/They broke the mold." The hidden track closes this unforeseen comeback, and for 48 minutes the nearly 60-year-old Bruce Springsteen sounds 35 again. --Scott Holter
a music cd. classical rock
Magic, Bruce Springsteen's new studio recording and his first with the E Street Band in five years, is set for release by Columbia records on October 2, 2007. Produced and mixed by Brendan O'Brien, the album features eleven new Springsteen songs and was recorded at southern tracks recording studio in Atlanta, Ga.