Title: The River
Artist: Bruce Springsteen
Songs: The Ties That Bind/Sherry Darling/Jackson Cage/Two Hearts/Independence Day/Hungry Heart/Out In The Street/Crush On You/You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)/I Wanna Marry You/The River/Point Blank/Cadillac Ranch/I’m A Rocker/Fade Away/Stolen Car/Ramrod/The Price You Pay/Drive All Night/Wreck On The Highway
Thoughts: If Bruce Springsteen is a genius at something, it’s making really depressing songs sound upbeat and happy. The River is a perfect example of this skill used to perfection. “Hungry Heart”, “Jackson Cage” and “The Ties That Bind” all revolve around such sad stories, but the music itself is upbeat and rocking. It’s kind of weird how some of the happier themed songs are long and drawn out and sound depressing. “Drive All Night,” the eight-and-a-half minute climax of the album is just about a guy who will do anything for his girl, including driving all night “just to buy you some shoes…” So, there’s nothing really depressing there…but the performance makes it sound, and feel, that way. As Springsteen’s first album of over ten songs, The River feels like an explosion, and it truly is. I think it also proved that Springsteen was here to stay, because if he followed Darkness On The Edge Of Town with a similar album, I think he would have been a one-hit wonder. Thankfully, that wasn’t the case…and we got Nebraska because of it.