#2 – Bruce Springsteen – Magic
Since the conception of this blog, I’ve sure done my share of postings on Bruce Springsteen. It’s not just because I grew up in a household where his discography was constantly blasted into my ears. Nor was it because that even after 30+ years, he is still on the top of his game. The thing I find most fascinating in regards to Springsteen is that it’s almost as if he is the father figure for many of today’s best musicians. Just off the top of my head, from Oberst to Adams, The National to The Hold Steady, I can name at least a hundred musicians who have clearly been influenced by The Boss. These are the same people that compose today’s indie and alternative music world, and who we blog about everyday. Yet without the influence of Springsteen, the sounds and lyrical styles of these great artists may never have come about.
Remarkably, Springsteen is still developing the very sound and song-writing skills that have been an influence for so many others. And if 2007’s Magic is any representation of the current state of the native New Jerseyan (accompanied again with the legendary E Street Band), he’s still alive and kicking with the same fury and passion that was present in Born to Run some 30 years ago. In fact, songs like “Livin’ In the Future” and “Long Walk Home” sound as if they would fit perfectly on the legendary album. As a whole however, Magic is almost a compilation of Springsteen’s sounds and styles through his career. From the Nebraska sounding “Magic” to “Girls In Summer Clothes,” a song with very a the same type of melody found on The Rising, there is something for every type of Springsteen fan.
All 12 of Magic‘s tracks are gems, which is just another attribute of Springsteen’s talents. In fact, there has never been a need for filler in any of his albums because even when the sounds are simple and the musicality isn’t great, the song-writing remains out of this world. Though no songs on Magic fit this description, the album certain exemplifies The Boss’ masterful, vivid, story-like lyrics. “Long Walk Home,” one of the album’s lyrical high points is a metaphor for Springsteen’s belief on how far the United States has swayed from it’s principals. Even the album’s most furious and powerful tune “Radio Nowhere,” offers a fun, yet discouraging look at the dwindling state of mainstream music. No topic is left untapped. Springsteen is truly one of the world’s last great spokesman. It’s no wonder so many are trying to emulate him.
Buy the album on Amazon.com