Bruce Springsteen is an American archetype, and Born to Run will probably be the finest record released this year.
Springsteen is not an innovator—his outlook is rooted in the Fifties; his music comes out of folk-rock and early rock 'n' roll, his lyrics from 1950s teenage rebellion movies and beat poetry as filtered through Sixties songs rather than read. Springsteen's gifts lie in the way he has rethought traditional sounds and stances, coming up with a synthesis fresh enough to constitute a minor renaissance….
Springsteen's landscapes of urban desolation are all heightened, on fire, alive. His characters act in symbolic gestures, bigger than life. Furthermore, there's...
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