CD Magic [Bruce Springsteen] (CD 1160561),
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Magic [Bruce Springsteen]
1. Radio Nowhere
2. You'll Be Comin' Down
3. Livin' in the Future
4. Your Own Worst Enemy
5. Gypsy Biker
6. Girls in Their Summer Clothes
7. I'll Work For Your Love
9. Last to Die
10. Long Walk Home
11. Devil's Arcade
12. Bonus Track 1
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 8869717060
Personnel: Bruce Springsteen (vocals, guitars, harmonica, pump organ, synthesizer, glockenspiel, percussion, background vocals); Little Steven (guitars, mandolin, background vocals); Nils Lofgren (guitars, background vocals); Clarence Clemons (saxophone, background vocals); Roy Bittan (piano, organ); Danny Federici (organ, keyboards); Garry Tallent (bass guitar); Max Weinberg (drums); Patti Scialfa (background vocals).
Additional personnel: William Pu, Jay Christy, Sheela Lyengar, Kenn Wagner, Justin Bruns, Olga Shpitko, Christopher Pulgram, Soozie Tyrell, John Meisner (violin); Amy Chang, Tania Maxwell Clements, Lachlan McBane (viola); Karen Freer, Charae Kruege, Daniel Laufer (cello); Patrick Warren (tack piano, chamberlin); Jeremy Chatzky (upright bass).
Following up two folk-flavored albums, MAGIC finds Bruce Springsteen laying down his acoustic guitar to reclaim his rock-hero crown. He's assisted in this endeavor by producer Brendan O'Brien, best-known for big-time '90s hard rock, but the results have little in common with O'Brien's grungy past. Instead, MAGIC's sonic blueprint is more in line with Bruce's last stadium-rock statement, 2002's THE RISING. The album is front-loaded with hard-charging, heavy-riffing tunes ("Radio Nowhere," "You'll Be Comin' Down") that benefit from the sure-fire attack of the E Street Band. In fact, "Livin' in the Future" harks back to the band's vintage '70s work.
MAGIC isn't all back-to-basics rockers, though; evocative ballads that employ atmospheric string arrangements indicate that Springsteen is content neither with standing still nor with looking backwards. One of the most rewarding aspects of the album is the fact that after the relative tunelessness of 2005's DEVILS & DUST, Bruce seemingly learned from the folk gems he covered on his Pete Seeger homage a year later, and started writing arresting melodies again. Any way you look at it, those who may have been put off by Springsteen's previous stylistic diversions will have a welcome feeling for MAGIC.
Rolling Stone (p.119) - 5 stars out of 5 -- "Springsteen has rediscovered the boardwalk-dance-party power of BORN TO RUN and the Mitch Ryder and Jackie DeShannon encore covers in his 1975 and '78 shows."
Rolling Stone (p.108) - Included in Rolling Stone's "50 Top Albums of the Year 2007" -- "These songs are Springsteen at his toughest and most focused..."
Spin (p.122) - 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "'Your Own Worst Enemy' and 'Girls in Their Summer Clothes' channel Brian Wilson, layering sleigh bells and swelling strings to craft experimental chamber pop."
Entertainment Weekly (pp.68-69) - "No album could say more about the uncertain national mood of 2007....Bruce Springsteen is back in the masterpiece business." -- Grade: A
Uncut (p.97) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[MAGIC] is BORN TO RUN crossed with TUNNEL OF LOVE, an attempt to recover the indomitable youthful fury of the former, astutely tempered by the older, wiser, sadder resignation of the latter."
No Depression (p.93) - "MAGIC may be the closest approximation to an old-school, big-noise Bruce album in ages."
Q (Magazine) (p.88) - Ranked #06 in Q's "The 50 Best Albums Of 2007" -- "At 58, The Boss has arrived at another peak."
Q (Magazine) (p.120) - "Songs of disenchantment and despair rarely zing with so much energy and life."
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