Bruce Springsteen

By now you’ve heard. Bruce Springsteen—the working class hero Marx promised us, a guy corporations in tall buildings unashamedly market as “The Boss”—is back. The images: of ascension, a lost kiss, empty skies, “may your faith give us faith,” darkness—all familiar Springsteen fare—rest now in a different context. There’s comfort in the musical familiarities; his eternal ’60’s rock ’n’ roll, beloved E Street band, langorous organ, full-chord guitar, punctuations of sax and ever-present fistfuls of 2-4 drumwork are all generously evident. The Boss built his career on songs that insisted he run across stage, slide on his knees and bang his guitar at just the right moment. That wholehearted commitment, the authenticity it suggested with a wide-assed grin, won him a nation. We live in different times; a woman I know says that The Rising is the first salve since 9/11 to take. So much happens in a year.