:: Tuesday, July 30, 2002 ::

The Boss is back. Bruce Springsteen graces the cover of this week's Time. I read the story, Reborn in the USA, today over lunch at my favorite Chinese buffet. The article is a send-up for Springsteen's new album, The Rising (with the E Street Band). The album is Springsteen's artistic response to 9/11, and Time's Josh Tyrangiel calls it "the first significant piece of pop art to respond to the events of that day. Many of the songs are written from the perspectives of working people whose lives and fates intersected with those hijacked planes. The songs are sad, but the sadness is almost always matched with optimism, promises of redemption and calls to spiritual arms. There is more rising on The Rising than in a month of church."

Springsteen is the original roots rocker, and the greatest American street poet since Bob Dylan. He's apparently returned to his roots in this latest effort, singing about the everyday Joes transformed into heroes on 9/11. As he reports in his Time interview, Springsteen was deeply touched by the effects of 9/11. He read the New York Times obits of those killed in the Twin Towers collapse and discovered many fans, and many stories for this latest work.

More Springsteen coverage:

  • Springsteen's "Rising" strikes right post-9/11 note, a 3 1/2-star review by Edna Gundersen of USA Today. "A shrewd marriage of message and muscle," Gundersen calls it. "Impressionistic rather than literal, Springsteen's commentary sidesteps specifics and instead seeps into universal tales of love and community, evoking haunting images of that dreadful day. ... Yet the album ... never forgets its role as entertainment."

  • Review: Springsteen relevant in 'Rising', from Entertainment Weekly. "Springsteen can't resist laying it on thick. Words like faith and strength crop up several times, which only remind you how little he employed them before. He didn't have to; his music and delivery conveyed the beliefs behind those words effortlessly."

  • Come on Up for the Rising by Kevin Cherry for The National Review. "What Springsteen has done ... is capture the two near-opposite feelings of most Americans in the days and weeks after September 11: on the one hand, a deep grief for the lives lost; on the other, a belief that we will 'rise up.' All of the songs are tinged with despair, but there is something else — something far less than optimism or hope, but more akin to, well, faith: faith that we can join together and struggle through difficult times, that we can 'rise up.'"

    :: Andrew 15:30 + ::
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