Late last night I discovered that there is one more great Summer album. Bruce Springsteen's Magic. There are records that immediately evoke a place and time for me. I thought I might not find another Summer set. Music has gone so far down hill in general. There are some good singles, but few entire albums that hit the mark.
Magic was released last October to much fanfare and debuted at Number 1. The lead single Radio Nowhere wasn't a killer, even though it was a freebie on iTunes. So I didn't pay any more attention to the record. Combine that with the fact that Bruce was pretty well snubbed by the Grammys in the major categories.
Then around Christmas, I heard Bruce's second single The Girls In Their Summer Clothes. Now that it is the dog days, TGITSC is magnificent. The true test was listening to the CD in my car with the windows rolled down on a warm July night as I ran some evening errands. Brilliant. Shimmering. It's like a night-time carnival of sound. I'm looking forward to hearing it in broad day light. Livin' In The Future and You'll Be Coming Down are equally appealing. It's also fun to hear Bruce in great voice really digging for smoother vocal performances than usual. The slower moments are powerful, too. The album closer Terry's Song is a touching eulogy punctuated with the refrain: "When they built you, Brother, they broke the mold."
Bruce sure can write a great pop song when he wants to. My only quibble with the record is that it is over-compressed in places. I know Springsteen likes that Wall Of Sound aesthetic, but sometimes it can be too much for the digital age. When the E Street Band kicks into high gear though, the performances are undeniable. I haven't been this enthralled by Bruce since Born In The USA. I did get to see him and the Band at Dodger Stadium a few Summers back. Wish he was coming to town again to hear these songs in a live setting. Oh, well.
So for my record buying friends, this is a great back porch record or apartment balcony blaster. Albums like this were born to be soundtracks to BBQs. Better yet, cruise down the boulevard around 9 tonight with all the windows down and let the breeze cool you off and the Magic heat you up. I know I will on the way home from work. It's not a party album, but it does rock and roll and hits me right to the core.
Got a recent LP that shouts "Summer Album?" Drop me a comment.
Speaking of cooling off, time for a haircut. Gotta run.
Peace & Summer Breezes