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I always wondered what it would take to get me to submit a review, and this CD is it.
I think Bruce's work on this album is understated brilliance, and I alternately cried and danced in my chair on the first listenings (3 consecutive). As an artist, Bruce internalized the events of 9/11 and was inspired to create what few could ever hope to; a stunning compilation of songs that masterfully and beautifully articulates the confusion, pain, aftermath, and subsequent hope of a relief worker, a loved one, a nation.
Bruce's songwriting skills are top-notch, and the lyrics on this album really display his capacity for tapping in to the depth of the human spirit and emotion. But the theme here is healing, so while many of the lyrics bring you back emotionally to the events of last year, in typical Bruce style, the music also has the power to rejuvenate.
The album is thoroughly modern in its approach, yet elements of the "old" Bruce - the great E-Street Band sound, Clarence's provocative sax, the knock-your-socks-off guitar solos, the memorable rock-n-roll anthems - are here again, too. While listening, I can't help but picture myself dancing and singing along to many of these songs with friends at a live show. (And if you've ever been to one of his shows, you know what I mean!!!)
A lot of care and thought has gone in to the production details as well. Songs thread seamlessly in to one another. Additional musicians and musical styles are used to full effect. And lyrics are included.
THE RISING is a modern classic, in my opinion ranking right up there with Bruce's best - but will stand on it's own. More than ever, it should solidify Bruce's place in musical history. It's an album that Neil Young, Billy Joel, and certainly Bon Jovi, among others, will wish they'd made.
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