This young kid from New Jersey is what Jim Morrison would call “a word man not a bird man.” Each song is a story that becomes an avenue to the next track, each packed with its own thickly crafted lyrical ensemble.
Noteworthy are the tracks that are sped up and wordy that are strategically placed on sides 1 & 2 to lift the listener from the darker stories on songs like “The Angel.” The lyrics are reflective of destitution, as humans use whatever means are at their finger tips to climb the ladder of hope, “poisoning oozing from his engine.” Springsteen is already thinking about what is happening to our future in the skies that pass by us every day filled with ozone destruction.
Springsteen takes up beats to disguise the lyrics that every American needs to sing then let bleed into their subconsciousness. Later, after the words become secondhand while singing, that’s when the listener will begin to understand that they are really seeds. Once planted in the minds of everyone, a story of American hardship will begin to take shape. He writes from things he has seen, felt and deeply understands.
“Blinded by the Light” is a lengthy saturated musical treat that has word content that fills up the complete five minutes of the song. He must sit with a dictionary, newspaper and thesaurus while just inhaling every infinitesimal amount of information, recreating each word into lines of necessity then constructing a merry-go-round of music. Springsteen’s mind must run at the speed of sound, writing lines that twist the basic instinct of man. “Me and Crazy Janey was makin’ love in the dirt, Singin’ our birthday songs.” The words create an image that contains dual meanings and at the same time splits what most would compose as one line into two. Genius!!!!
The insights he sees beyond the headlines as stories calling out those who use mythological beliefs such as the bible to call out their hypocrisy. “Nuns run bald through Vatican halls, pregnant pleadin’ immaculate conception” is a line found in “Lost in the flood.” Springsteen can be the divulgant servant of facts that no one wants to admit surround us everyday. We buy this as fact and ask no questions as we have been raised to do. Bob Dylan raised our awareness to what is really happening in the world while we let it continue, and now Springsteen has picked up the baton and is running with the message to the youth of our nation.
Clarence Clemons has abstract philosophical approaches to his sax playing as he incorporates touches and fills that add lush to each song. The rest of the band often falls behind the beat of some of the faster installments but for his first release and in record (no pun intended) time, Springsteen has proven there is a place for him in the future.