"New rockers should be made to follow a Springsteen tour. It’s instructive to point out that in the latest Entertainment Weekly, the top 30 contemporary performers are listed. Springsteen, at number 23, is the only one included from a prior generation. There’s a reason for his longevity. To paraphrase one of his songs, he’s alive."
“Lean”, “angry” and “relentless” are the words Springsteen now uses to describe the feelings and sounds he was trying to capture in the follow-up to Born to Run, the hit album that landed him on the cover of Time and Newsweek and led some to write him off as just another victim of record-company excess. Delayed by a bitter legal battle over his management contract, he finally presented the public with a version of Darkness from which all traces of joy and release had been purged, replaced by a sense of desperation. The claustrophobia of ordinary lives trapped by work and family ties provided his metaphor.
“Looking more at the man behind the music than the man behind the myth, The Promise may be one that’s more for the fans, who will undoubtedly gush over all the never-before-seen footage and unreleased songs performed by a 27-year-old Bruce. Fans will also be green to learn that, having detached his microphone from its stand at the end of friday night’s Q&A, Bruce jokingly invited anyone in the audience to come up to the stage for a ‘spanking’.”