Bruce Springsteen - Magic (Cover Artwork)

Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen: MagicMagic (2007)
Sony Music

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:

Contributed by: danperroneDan Perrone
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Magic should have been happening twenty years ago. For the last two solo and much-maligned pop and folk decades of Bruce Springsteen's career -- save for 2002's solid yet unfocused The Rising -- he should have been having fun and rocking out with the E Street Band, just as he does on his new record,.
iTunes StoreAmazon

Magic should have been happening twenty years ago. For the last two solo and much-maligned pop and folk decades of Bruce Springsteen's career -- save for 2002's solid yet unfocused The Rising -- he should have been having fun and rocking out with the E Street Band, just as he does on his new record, out on Columbia Records. Magic shows the lighter side of a man refusing to slow down, and while it may not be as deep as classics like Born to Run, it will, without a doubt, please long-time fans of Springsteen.

As cliché as it might sound, Bruce and the E Street Band are back in full force, as the opening track and first single "Radio Nowhere" suggests, boasting a gigantic main riff, group vocals, and a saxophone solo from big man Clarence Clemons. Magic is a true crowd-pleaser, highlighted by the triumphant return of Roy Bittan's piano work, which laces and drives most of the tracks on the album -- most noticeably the fantastic "I'll Work for Your Love" and "You'll Be Comin' Down."

By far, the most staggering and delightful tune on Magic is "Livin' in the Future," which could be "Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out Part Deux" with its upbeat rhythm and throwback Born to Run-esque production -- complete with "na na na"s to close things out. Songs like "Girls in Their Summer Clothes" and "Your Own Worst Enemy" are unlike anything Springsteen has done before, and they succeed through their simplicity and light-hearted nature. However, one track in particular illustrates Bruce's lyrical and emotional prowess -- "Long Walk Home" is simply tremendous, and is his best song in decades.

In terms of sound, Magic is very closely related to 1980's The River and 1984's breakthrough Born in the U.S.A.. After all these years, it finally seems as if Springsteen has realized that he doesn't have to be heavy-handed to write solid music. Magic is truly a full-band effort, and is proof that our local hero still has some tricks up his sleeves.

[Originally written for The Daily Targum]


People who liked this also liked:
The Gaslight Anthem - The '59 SoundThe Horrible Crowes - ElsieFrank Turner - Love, Ire and SongRamones - Rocket to RussiaThe Gaslight Anthem - HandwrittenBanner Pilot - Resignation DayCheap Girls - Find Me a Drink HomeThe Hold Steady - Boys and Girls in AmericaAgainst Me! - As The Eternal CowboyTeenage Bottlerocket - Freak Out!

Please login or register to post comments.What are the benefits of having a Punknews.org account?
  • Share your opinion by posting comments on the stories that interest you
  • Rate music and bands and help shape the weekly top ten
  • Let Punknews.org use your ratings to help you find bands and albums you might like
  • Customize features on the site to get the news the way you want.
Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
LittleSteven (January 30, 2009)

Blows me away every time! A hero of rock music!

notfeelingcreative (December 5, 2008)

Punk? No, not really. One of the best songwriters of the past thirty years? Without a doubt!

thomas7155 (July 17, 2008)

"Radio Nowhere" rocks!

The_Wayfarer (January 24, 2008)

The Boss is fucking punk rock. And, as someone said before, an incredibly decent human being. In the hippie days, he didn't do drugs, in the corporate rock star days, he accepted no sponsor, in the superficial superstar days (today) he has been married for 15 years and treats everyone as his equal.

Hell yes.

"Girls in Their Summer Clothes" is the best song on here.

Angiepants (November 3, 2007)

Bruce is fucking punk.

Devil's Arcade is the best song on the album, bar none.

sugarfull (November 2, 2007)

I would say that Bruce Springsteen's ethics can be similar to what most people on this board consider punk, and it is clear that his tastes do include a few punk bands; that however, does not make him punk.

There's more to being punk than just the ethics; for a band to be punk, they should at least have a punk sound.

DiscoFucker (November 2, 2007)

" i still want to know why this guy in considered "punk" ?"

I'm not sure what"punk" means these days, but he is quite liberal in his politics, which may be what some are referring to. Or it could be the fact that instead of being a coked up rockstar who fucks supermodels, he has been happily married to a non-supermodel for upwards of 15 years. Or that when he and the E Street Band plays shows together, he gives each and every member the same amount of money he receives. Not sure how "punk" this makes him, but it does make him a pretty fuckin decent human being.

ashtraymonument (November 2, 2007)

your right to whoever below me, he was an inspiration to a bunch of punk bands. but that doesn't make him punk. he puts out good music, i enjoy some of his stuff, but i still really don't think he should be on here. oh well.

slymer (November 2, 2007)

This is a good album. I listen to it constantly in my truck since it's the only one I have in there.

icarusix (November 1, 2007)

The first single "Radio Nowhere" sounds suspiciously like Tommy Tutone's "867-5309".

Mediocore (November 1, 2007)

While Springsteen originally wrote/recorded "Blinded By the Light", Manfred Mann made it waaaaaaaaaaaaay more popular.

Toxic_Toast (November 1, 2007)

didn't he front the bill for streetlight to get new gear after it got stolen?

KurtTGS (November 1, 2007)

"punknews.org , PUNKnews.org , again, PUNKnews.org"

People still say stuff like this?

Dudley_Shale (November 1, 2007)

"punknews.org , PUNKnews.org , again, PUNKnews.org"

Because he hasn't been an inspiration to countless punk rock bands. Because telling Regan "fuck you.", the leader of the free world at the time, and taking back his song from Regans capaign wasn't punk rock.

Kill yourself.

totonotdead (November 1, 2007)

punknews.org , PUNKnews.org , again, PUNKnews.org

the_problem_with_fire (October 31, 2007)

To add to what I said below: I have no problem this is being reviewed here. I have not heard this album, yet I do own some Springsteen stuff that I enjoy. I just don't understand what anyone means when they call this guy "more punk than ____", etc.

the_problem_with_fire (October 31, 2007)

"he's punk because he doesn't take your emo ass into consideration when doing ANYTHING."

that makes no sense at all... i still want to know why this guy in considered "punk" ?

Salvation (October 31, 2007)

Just saw him live a few weeks ago. Even from my shitty cheap seats, the show was amazing.

Ghost_of_D_Boon (October 31, 2007)

Springsteen is great. His new album is great. The last two studio albums he did before this are real cool as well. I'm just surprised to see a review of this album on PunkNews.org.

Then again, Springsteen originally wrote "Hungry Heart" for the Ramones to do, did a backing vocal on The Dictators' "Faster And Louder", and covered a Suicide song on his acoustic tour behind Devils And Dust, so in that aspect I'm not surprised to see a review of this album here.

xdontbackdownx (October 31, 2007)

bruce says one of his favorite "new" bands is rise against...

TeaEssAre (October 31, 2007)

Thats rad how he likes all these bands.

astronautjones (October 31, 2007)

album of the year

Sciulli (October 31, 2007)

Interesting about him liking Streetlight. I always thought "Oh Mary Don't You Weep" from the Seeger Sessions sounds a lot like a Streetlight song. I guess that has to do with the fact that it's an older folk song that Tomas was probably inspired by.

Jesse (October 31, 2007)

This album is crap. The Boss is slipping down that hillside towards Adult Contemporary. Devils and Dust was aiight. This ain't.

sweetsuperior (October 31, 2007)

he's punk because he doesn't take your emo ass into consideration when doing ANYTHING.

this is a great album but bruce-virgins should start at 'greetings from asbury park.'

the_problem_with_fire (October 31, 2007)

Honest question, as I'm not that familiar, how exactly is Bruce Springsteen "punk"--in terms of ethics, etc.?

jacknife737 (October 31, 2007)

Springsteen isn't really my thing, but i've liked what i've heard so far from this new disk.

And to those complaining that he doesn't belong on .org, i'd say that he has more of a "punk ethic" then 50% of the band's covered here.

dildonicsboy (October 31, 2007)

Yeah, it talked about him liking Streetlight Manifesto and taking his kids to the concert, and the liking Against Me! can be heard at http://www.rollingstone.com/rockdaily/index.php/2007/10/23/vintag e-springsteen-photos-and-audio-of-bruce-talking-bush-and-new-band s/

Ollywood (October 31, 2007)

Radio Nowhere reminds me too much of that 867-5309 song

HeresLookinAtYou (October 31, 2007)

Nebraska is better. This is good though.

Torgo (October 31, 2007)

I like how "SydBarrett420" (Beatles >>>> Pink Floyd) did exactly what I said a post or two before.

KurtTGS (October 31, 2007)

Can you prove to me that he really likes Against Me and Streetlight Manifesto?

Anyways, this album rules. Huge sound.

discofucker (October 31, 2007)

No,Blinded By The Light is a Springsteen song.

Album of the year. Hands down.

dildonicsboy (October 31, 2007)

This is a guy who likes Against Me! and Streetlight Manifesto. For a guy his age, that is pretty punk. Plus his music is amazing. Greetings From Asbury Park and Born To Run are good albums to start with if you haven't listened to him. This album is really good too.

SydBarrett420 (October 31, 2007)

The sad thing, Bruce is spouting liberal crap and the majority of people who buy his stuff are 40 year old yuppies who sold out a long time ago. This has about as much business being here as a review of the latest Paul McCartney or Neil Young album would.

Is this site turning into absolutepunk.net? I hope there isn't a review of the new Nas album coming next...

Torgo (October 30, 2007)

Oh, P.S. to the reivewer: Half the songs are very heavy handed, I think you need to look back at the lyrics sheet.
For example, the song, Magic: Now there's a fire down below/But it's coming up here/So leave everything you know/Carry only what you fear/On the road the sun is sinkin' low/Bodies hanging in the trees/This is what will be

Torgo (October 30, 2007)

I am SHOCKED ignorant posters still say "THIS SHOULDNT HAVE BEEN REVIEWED OMGZ!!" I thought that was for scum like the Someone's, that's what I get for thinking the majority of punks are smart. Grow up, he's more punk than Orange or Gorgeous Frankenstein.

punkgato (October 30, 2007)

"wrapped up like a douche
a little boner in the night

what a funny song that is. i dont really like bruce, ive only heard born in the usa(woof). does he have any albums that might change my mind?"

First off...that's .38 Special, not Springsteen!

Second, if Born In The USA and it's co-opting by republicans is all you know about the Boss, I truly feel sorry for you!

punkgato (October 30, 2007)

I hate hate to break it to some of you whiners...but this may be the "punkest" album reviewed here this week!

This definitly has more to say than Saves The Day or Crime In Stereo!

freesandwich (October 30, 2007)

Bruce is punx because he pissed on the american flag..amirite?

SloaneDaley (October 30, 2007)

according to Johnny Rotten not even The Clash are punk so who the fuck cares.

TahoeJeff (October 30, 2007)

I usually don't say anything, but this is kind of ridiculous. This album really does not belong on Punknews.org.

Torgo (October 30, 2007)

Better than The Rising, I enjoy this record, especially Livin In The Future

mcgregor107 (October 30, 2007)

My dad is stoked too!

punkinohio (October 30, 2007)

man get the fuck outta here with this

ashtraymonument (October 30, 2007)

i know people on here may like bruce, but he really doesn't belong on punknews.

feeeding5000 (October 30, 2007)

And as for the reviewer...is this "fuckin'" or "spankin'"?

skankaholikk (October 30, 2007)

I heard this guy sounds a lot like The Gaslight Anthem.

ChesterfieldKing (October 30, 2007)

This album really is great. Then again, I like pretty everything the man has done.

Best album for getting into him depends on your taste, but Born To Run and Darkness On The Edge Of Town are probably his best albums. Nebraska is stunning but not really representative of his sound.

freesandwich (October 30, 2007)

my dad is stoked

jumptheshark (October 30, 2007)

This album is really amazing. I love it

And Branden - You should check out Nebraska. It's fantastic.

marthaplimpton (October 30, 2007)

'greetings from asbury park' is his first album and one of his best; blinded by the light is on there too

branden (October 30, 2007)

wrapped up like a douche
a little boner in the night

what a funny song that is. i dont really like bruce, ive only heard born in the usa(woof). does he have any albums that might change my mind?

Exclusive Streams


Newest Reviews

Punknews.org Team

Managing Editor

Adam White

Contributing Editors

Kira Wisniewski Brittany Strummer Armando Olivas John Flynn Chris Moran John Gentile Mark Little

Copy Editor

Adam Eisenberg Britt Reiser

Podcast Producer

Greg Simpson


Aubin Paul

ISSN 1710-5366

© Copyright 1999-2013 Punknews.org

Terms of Use Privacy Policy Contact Us About Punknews.org

Other Places to Go