Bruce Springsteen’s new album, ‘Letter to You,’ is comforting nostalgia

Bruce Springsteen’s new album, ‘Letter to You,’ is comforting nostalgia
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Bruce Springsteen’s new album, ‘Letter to You,’ is comforting nostalgia

Bruce Springsteen’s new album, ‘Letter to You,’ is reassuring nostalgia

Bruce Springsteen’s new album, “Letter to You,” seems like a postcard from a bygone period — one lengthy earlier than texts, FaceTime and Zoom.

Launched on Friday, it’d as properly have arrived by Pony Categorical from a long time in the past.

Definitely, this can be a nostalgia journey again to a extra harmless, much less scary time with an outdated good friend — and his outdated buddies. That may be the E Road Band, which, after not showing on final yr’s “Western Stars” LP, is again working with the Boss for the primary studio album since 2014’s “Excessive Hopes.”

Much more considerably, that is the primary time Springsteen and the E Road Band have recorded a whole studio album whereas taking part in all collectively since 1984’s traditional “Born in the usA.”

Little doubt, this was a household reunion in each sense. Even Clarence Clemons — who handed away in 2011 — is there, within the spirit of his nephew Jake Clemons on sax.

That heat household feeling is a well-known, comforting presence all through “Letter to You,” which is a sonic tonic for these troubling occasions. That sense of historical past and deep-rooted connectivity from having rocked by means of the ages collectively extends to George Theiss — Springsteen’s final surviving comrade from his first band, the Castiles — whose 2018 demise impressed the brand new LP.

Bruce Springsteen
Bruce SpringsteenAP

From the second he sings “One minute you’re right here/Subsequent minute you’re gone” on the opening monitor “One Minute You’re Right here” — which serves to bridge the wistful country-folk of “Western Stars” to “Letter to You” — there’s a way of loss and longing on the coronary heart of all of it.

Gracefully confronting his personal ageing, the 71-year-old Springsteen straight addresses being the “Final Man Standing” from the Castiles on one of many standout songs: “Rock of ages elevate me in some way/Someplace excessive and onerous and loud/Someplace deep into the center of the group/I’m the final man standing now.”

Bruce Springsteen
Bruce SpringsteenDanny Clinch

Regardless of the fragility of mortality in counting “the names of the lacking,” there’s a muscularity to the music with the E Road Band that, pre-pandemic, was clearly meant for these tunes to be taken on tour in arenas and stadiums.

“Letter to You” — which, though framed as a romantic rocker within the title monitor, continues the careerlong dialog Springsteen has been having each together with his followers and his beloved band — ends with hope amidst the heartache on “I’ll See You in My Desires”: “We’ll meet and reside and giggle once more . . . For demise just isn’t the top.”

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