Letter to You

This entry is the first in quite a while. I haven’t felt motivated to write and when I started writing this piece I was quite overwhelmed and daunted by all other, perfectly written reviews out there. However, I figured I can’t run a Bruce Springsteen blog without a comment on the new album, so here it is:

Springsteen’s latest album Letter To You (his 20th studio album, released on October 23, 2020) has been promoted heavily and I’ve read countless reviews, seen interviews on all kinds of TV shows and (since I only had a 7-day trial on Apple TV+) watched the film at least seven times. It’s been hard to keep up and for a while I kind of suffered from a Letter To You-overdose. 😖

Everyone else in Springsteen’s very first band, the Castiles, from the 60’s are gone. He is left alone. That realisation was the take-off of the melancholic song, Last Man Standing, but it is also a common theme that is everywhere, in the lyrics and in the music of the whole album.

It seems to me that Letter to You is as much a love manifesto to music, friendship and the fans as a goodbye or a closing of a chapter.

Time is slowly running out on Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band too (two members are already deceased) and that was perhaps the reason Springsteen decided to congregate the whole band in his studio over five days, with producer Ron Aniello, to make a “live” recording of the album.

The outcome was an old-school, nostalgic, typical E Street album, destined to be played in huge arenas. Fingers crossed we’ll have at least one more world-wide tour. 🤞

My favourites songs on this album are Ghosts, Burnin’ Train, Rainmaker, If I was the Priest and Song for Orphans. Bruce’s voice sounds better than ever and the sound of The E Street Band is the classic wall of sound composed by a driving rhythm, organ, saxophone, piano, glockenspiel and blasting guitar riffs.

I need, need you by my side, your love and I’m alive

To me the release of the album couldn’t have been more fitting. 2020 has been a crappy year and the album has given me energy and it has lifted me up. It’s a proof of music as a community and of music as a religion. Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band are alive and so am I.

7 comments

  1. Liebe Anna,
    was für eine gelungene Besprechung, was für ein treffender Schlusssatz! “Song for Orphans” habe ich erst vorhin wieder voller Begeisterung gehört.
    Viele Grüße aus München,
    Natascha

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thx very much for your review, Anna. I have yet to receive my copy of the CD because it’s coming very slowly, by way of Amazon and an import from somewhere in Europe, right now, slow train to China, so to speak. I have heard some of the songs and am as usual, quite amazed at the prolific output of The Bruce w the E Street Band, who r all worthy of our collective love. As usual, great work it was, and remarkably fast to put together, it’s as if the songs just pour from your soul, given the right background circumstances. As if 2020 conspired to give us all a fountain from which to tap our inner selves, in the absence of anything resembling normalcy in daily life. I think that The Bruce has quite a bit more in him, even tho he’s now 71, and a rock star’s life is full of blasting metaphors of beauty and destruction, both. I hold out hope for the next concert and pray it won’t be the last. Bruce LIVES 4 US! As we do 4 him too.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. PS One more note as an addendum: when I met Bruce in person for Born to Run book tour, Sept and October 2016, I actually gave him a small Post It note w key dates and occurrences from my life as his fan, and handed it to him personally. And I wrote a Christmas card to him too, in a Fed Ex delivered envelope, to him, at the Walter Kerr Theater, when Springsteen on Broadway was playing in 2017, plus a poem…so I am deluding myself that Letter to You is actually partially inspired by me and my extreme fandom. I want him to come over and have my homemade lasagna too, after my tasting it first to allay any doubts. I am harmless and love him very much.

    Liked by 1 person

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