Wednesday, February 01, 2012
Bruce Springsteen -- Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.
I am not going to lie. I was not looking forward to revisiting this album. I envisioned it as a bunch of cheesy songs about teenagers racing around in cars or something. It isn't. I was also scared all of these songs would just be weak prototypes of "Born to Run." They aren't.
On this, his debut, Bruce is already a fully-formed artist with a vision. The stories he tells here are full of genuine emotion, varied in their sound. "Mary Queen of Arkansas" is an acoustic song that could have been recorded yesterday. "Lost in the Flood" and "The Angel" are similarly downbeat and emotive (and mention but don't revolve around automobiles), but there are also plenty of upbeat tracks featuring the classic freewheeling bass and drum playing inherent in 70's rock. There's even a soul song, "Spirit in the Night," that's a lot of fun.
I mentioned Bruce's storytelling above, and I think he establishes himself as a master storyteller right off the bat here, but man does he pack some words into these songs. The closer, "It's Hard to Be a Saint in the City" is about just what the title says and boasts a lyric sheet a mile long in three minutes. It's a great song, but one has to get the feeling that Bruce himself saw the humor in the fact that two and a half minutes into the recording, he was already out of breath. Fortunately, he still had and has a lot left to say.
1. Blinded by the Light 5:04
2. Growin' Up 3:05
3. Mary Queen of Arkansas 5:21
4. Does This Bus Stop at 82nd Street? 2:05
5. Lost in the Flood 5:17
6. The Angel 3:24
7. For You 4:40
8. Spirit in the Night 4:59
9. It's Hard to Be a Saint in the City 3:13