Bruce Springsteen - Devils & Dust Review
by Kevin Wierzbicki
Springsteen is still finding story after story in that darkness on the edge of town, even if this time around the characters being chased by shadows live a bucolic existence. Every decade or so Springsteen reels off one of these "quieter" albums, demonstrating that intensity isn't born of volume---the understated pain and loss that permeates this set is every bit as powerful as the boisterous street revelry of chestnuts like "Rosalita." On a couple of the songs ("Maria's Bed," "Reno") Springsteen effects a homespun, old-west (think Festus from Gunsmoke) voice to tell his tale. The technique softens the blow of the graphic imagery of "Reno," the much talked about "dirty" song on the album. The song is about not finding any comfort in the company of a whore, and carries the explicit lyric, "Two hundred dollars straight in/two-fifty up the ass." That line offers the song's only subtle clue that the encounter takes place in the present day as prostitutes did not get that much jingle for their jiggle in the cowboy era that the song's arrangement suggests. Certainly there is a large chunk of Springsteen's audience that will forego this album in favor of his work with a full band but the rest of us are happy to walk into the half-light with him any chance we get.
CD Info and Links
Bruce Springsteen - Devils & Dust
Devils & Dust
All the Way Home
Long Time Comin'
Jesus Was an Only Son
All I'm Thinkin' About
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