Bruce Springsteen

Magic (Columbia)

Phases & Stages

Bruce Springsteen

Magic (Columbia)

Touted as the first E Street Band album in five years, Magic casts off the solemnity of 2002's The Rising for the top-down rush of "Radio Nowhere." Kick-off and canonical bull's-eye, its "I just want to hear some rhythm" chant strips Magic free of pretense. Hop on, strap in. Producer Brendan O'Brien grunges a muddy mix as opposed to the diamond cut of 2005's Devils & Dust, continuing his Bossman's studio condescension of Clarence Clemons & Co. following 1984's Born in the U.S.A. Perfunctory piano, organ, and sax breaks on pure E Streeter "Livin' in the Future" undercut the song, same as Springsteen's teen-mode lyric on "Girls in Their Summer Clothes." The mandolin-laced title track's legit, but rocker "Last to Die" lacks the sheer hootenanny of last year's We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions. Near misses ("Your Own Worst Enemy"), retreads ("Gypsy Biker"), and Clemons-challenged ramblers ("Long Walk Home") prompt few curtain calls. Magic still, mundane, too.

**

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
... And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead
X: The Godless Void and Other Stories (Record Review)

Alejandra Ramirez, Feb. 21, 2020

Texas Platters
Daniel Johnston
Chicago 2017 (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Feb. 21, 2020

More by Raoul Hernandez
The Mystery of the Mysterines
The Mystery of the Mysterines
Why did I fly 1,500 miles to see Liverpool’s sixth best act?

May 25, 2022

Review: Haunter’s <i>Discarnate Ails</i>
Review: Haunter’s Discarnate Ails
A three-song behemoth from Central Texas death metal unit debut on Profound Lore

May 20, 2022

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Bruce Springsteen

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Behind the scenes at The Austin Chronicle

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle