Every now and then, I’ll stumble upon an older album I haven’t given a chance. Sometimes I have good reason for not listening, and sometimes I just simply overlook it.
Oddly, this case is neither.
In 2007, “The Boss” a.k.a. Bruce Springsteen, brought his “Legendary E Street Band” back together for “Magic,” its first collaboration since 2002’s “The Rising”.
While a couple of tours with the E Street Band took place between 2002 and 2007, Springsteen went solo for his “Devils & Dust” tour in 2005, following the success of the album.
I remember when “Magic” came out, there was quite a bit of press for it. At the time, I wasn’t very familiar with Springsteen’s catalogue. I knew some of the hits like “Born In The U.S.A.,” but I wasn’t aware of how important he was to music history.
“Radio Nowhere” was the only song I remember hearing on the radio, which was a big deal in itself because classic rock radio almost never plays new material from older artists.
Although I was a fan of that song, and I would eventually become a Springsteen fan, I still managed to avoid “Magic” for all these years.
If ever there was an artist with an inconsistent catalogue as far as hit radio-friendly records, it’s Springsteen.
Even now, with programs like Spotify that make it easy to discover music, I’m cautious with Springsteen. I have so much respect for him as an artist that I’m afraid of hearing something I don’t like from him. I don’t do that with any other artist.
When I saw a used copy of “Magic” in a store for $1.99, I couldn’t justify leaving it there. I knew if I liked one song on it, chances are there would be a couple more I could get into.
Little did I know how right I was.
“Magic” is classic Springsteen, and in my opinion, is very similar to the “Born To Run” album.
“Radio Nowhere” reminds me of the song “Born To Run,” though it has its own unique feel. There have been rumors the song is about satellite radio, which gained huge popularity after the signing of Howard Stern to Sirius.
Without a doubt, my favorite song on the album, and possibly my overall favorite of Springsteen’s, is “Living In The Future”. Going back to the “Born To Run” album, this song is very reminiscent of “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out,” a staple of Springsteen’s live performances.
While some complain about the production quality of “Magic,” I don’t mind it. To me, it gives off a live energy. It doesn’t sound like a record. It feels like a concert.
I’m not one to admit wrong-doing, but I can comfortably say I was wrong for avoiding this album. It’s given me a new view on Springsteen.