Imagine the buzz if Bruce Springsteen were 25 and Magic was his debut release on super-cool Yep Roc records. Indie sensation! Album of the Year! Pitchfork 9.0!
You can listen to trendy Internet stations like KEXP from now until New Year's Eve, and you won't hear anything more beautiful than the rising orchestral melody of "Devil's Arcade." That song encapsulates what Springsteen's music has expressed with amazing consistency for the past three decades: a blend of faith in, love for and disillusionment with American values.
The album is rock-solid from beginning to end, starting with an ode to the modern abyss of music culture ("Radio Nowhere"). Springsteen's one-of-a-kind nostalgia is on full display with tracks like "Girls in Their Summer Clothes." His bittersweet remembrances aren't so much yearning for times gone by. They're tributes to how we all hoped the world would turn out when we were young.
Springsteen may now be your father's rock 'n' roll, but as they say, sometimes father knows best.