It's been a rough 18 years for fans of Bruce Springsteen's epic work with the E Street Band, but Magic should be heartily welcomed by those hoping to hear even a faint echo of that golden era.
The Boss makes a genuine effort to recapture the writing style, the drama and the groove of the music that made his work with the E Street Band so beloved. The pictures of him included alongside the song lyrics in the accompanying booklet serve as a revealing guide. For Radio Nowhere, it's a confused look of "What was I thinking?" Your Own Worst Enemy comes with the slight recoil of "Damn, I didn't think that would make the cut." With I'll Work For Your Love, there's the grimmace of "Ouch, just missed," while Long Walk Home comes with a gloating smirk as if to say, "Oh yeah, we nailed it, buddy!"
Setting a song called Livin' In The Future to the tune of Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out indicates that Springsteen's sense of humour may be returning, but the fact that Miami Steve didn't tell him Girls In Their Summer Clothes sounds a little too much like The Kids Are Alright suggests it's not quite back to the good old days yet.
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band hit the ACC October 15.