Quick Review (LP): The Promise by Bruce Springsteen

springsteen the promise Bruce Springsteen
The Promise
Columbia; 2010

My Rating: A+

Best Tracks: “Because The Night”, “The Promise”, “Fire”, “The Brokenhearted”, “Save My Love”, “Breakaway”

Wow. This is quite simply unprecedented. There aren’t many artists out there who have as much unreleased material as Bruce Springsteen, but we haven’t gotten something this substantial since the Tracks boxset in 2010. What makes The Promise special is that, rather than feeling like a hodge-podge of half-conceived ideas or novelty leftovers, this feels like a cohesive and expansive effort. You don’t need me to tell you that these lost tracks fall somewhere chronologically between Born to Run and Darkness on The Edge of Town, but in light of that they definitely resemble a missing link of sorts. The former was Springsteen’s great big shot of hopes and dreams, and the latter was his exploration of working class misery and dead ends. The Promise manages to retain the romance and possibility of Born To Run while foreshadowing an end to it all. Overall, the album contains some of his best work, including one of the most famous “I didn’t know he wrote that” tracks, “Because The Night.” Much of the record recalls golden age rock and roll and R&B, and one is left wondering just how many radio royalties he left laying on the table by shelving these tracks for 30+ years. This collection is a rock fanboy’s dream, and it makes me think that maybe – just maybe – we’ll get to hear Electric Nebraska in a few years. For now, we have this absolutely glorious collection to revel in, and for that, I thank you Bruce.

Metacritic reviews