The Deal: New Jersey's greatest export releases first album with E Street Band in five years.
The Good: The opening track, "Radio Nowhere," lets the listener know that nothing's changed with Bruce and the band over the years. It's blue-collar rock – the same kind Bruce is known for, with plenty of radio-friendly hits. I was never a huge Springsteen fan, but having grown up in the Garden State, his music was everywhere you turned. If someone told me this album had a bunch of hits from previous records on it, I'd believe them. "Radio Nowhere" and "Livin' in the Future" stand out as solid rock tunes. "Magic," the title track, has an old Western movie feel to it.
The Bad: You can't understand every word Springsteen says, but could you ever do that before? He's in that list of singers that includes Bob Dylan and Tom Petty – great songwriters that sometimes need translators. The album's mix seems a little on the high end. "You're Own Worst Enemy" wasn't a bad track, but was a little boring – lack of real melody.
The Verdict: There are those that love Bruce Springsteen and those that didn't grow up in Jersey. In other words, if you didn't like him before, this one won't change your mind.