Bruce Springsteen, The Rising

By Nicole Kobie

Only somebody Born in the USA could create such an honest CD in the wake of September 11. His first release with the E-Street Band since that 1984 hit, Bruce Springsteen is back showing is patriotism with songs written mainly in reaction to the terrorist attacks.

For the most part, the songs effectively capture the emotions associated with that day. Wonder why Americans support Bush? A few lines from “Empty Sky” suggest “I want a kiss from you lips/I want an eye for an eye/I woke up this morning to an empty sky.” Anger is rarely the emotion expressed, however. The sadness from the absence and loss of loved ones is the main focus of the more melancholy tracks. “You’re Missing” describes a walk thru the home of someone who’s disappeared, metioning everyone and everything that’s there, lamenting the one person who’s not. Even the more upbeat songs have a dark side. One of the lighter songs features the chorus “good times have a way of coming to an end.” The Boss is hopeful, though, and manages to create an overall uplifting feel, that celebrates the courage of firefighters and the strength of New Yorkers. Mostly solid efforts, there’s a few misses; some of the writing sounds rushed. There is no subtly in the wording of some tracks–if you didn’t know the context these songs were written in, you could easily guess. And even the Boss himself can’t seem to avoid the use of strings on emotional songs. With his heart-felt lyrics and the music’s heavy tone, the strings are overkill. With wailing saxophones, walls of guitar, and distinctive drumming, the overall sound is still classic Springsteen–especially the title track and lead single, by far the best offering on The Rising.

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