BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN IS #1 WORLDWIDE
NEW ALBUM 'DEVILS & DUST' (COLUMBIA RECORDS) TO DEBUT AT #1 ON THE
Springsteen enters at #1 in 10 countries, including the United States
Bruce Springsteen's 'Devils & Dust' (Columbia Records) will enter
Billboard's Top 200 albums chart at the top spot next week. The new
album will also debut at number one in Austria, Switzerland, Sweden,
Denmark, Italy, Germany, The Netherlands, The United Kingdom, and Ireland.
'Devils & Dust' has earned outstanding reviews from critics and
fans alike. Rolling Stone wrote, "'Devils and Dust' sparkles in the
right places like stars in a clear Plains sky," while People Magazine
exclaimed, "Springsteen has hit another bull's-eye." Meanwhile, Entertainment
Weekly stated, "When it comes to combining a literary quality with a
colloquial voice, nobody does it better." The LA Times declared, "The
CD is filled with the compassion and craft that have made Springsteen
such an invaluable figure in rock."
In today's Wall Street Journal, Jim Fusilli writes, "[Devils & Dust
is] a vivid and perceptive work fashioned by a master craftsman, one
whose greatness is best revealed in whispers and searing asides." See
below for the full review:
The Wall Street Journal
The Boss Goes Back to Basics
By Jim Fusilli - 4 May 2005
Bruce Springsteen's new album "Devils & Dust" finds him liberated
from the confines of the E Street Band, his customary backing unit and
a group best-suited to the entertainment side of his long, worthy career.
On many songs on "Devils & Dust," Mr. Springsteen performs with
minimal instrumentation, and on an accompanying DVD, he plays five of
the songs by himself, guitar in hand, harmonica at the ready.
News that Mr. Springsteen will get as basic as he can brings hope that
he will record another "Nebraska," his haunting 1982 album that's considered
by many musicians to be his best. Recorded in his bedroom on a small
tape machine, "Nebraska" is Springsteen minus the glitz and gloss, and
what remains is one of America's best songwriters narrating dark tales
of human suffering, of working-class people all but lost to despair.
In the almost 23 years since its release, it's grown even more affecting
because few albums, and none by Mr. Springsteen, have achieved its intensity
and clarity of vision.
At its best, "Devils & Dust" brings "Nebraska" to mind, especially
"Matamoros Bank," in which a dead man reveals the dreams that drove
him, and the title track told from the point of view of a U.S. soldier
in Iraq. An extraordinary intermediary, Mr. Springsteen, with his grainy
voice, bring us time and again into his intimate stories and we feel
the struggles and conflicts of his finely wrought characters. Emerging
from such an experience, we're surprised to find Mr. Springsteen hasn't
been sitting next to us, telling us, one by one, the story of a dusty,
hardscrabble man adrift under an endless sky, dreams all but gone as
he tries to scratch out a place for his family. "I wanna build me a
house on higher ground/I wanna find me a world where love's the only
sound/High above this road filled with shadow and doubt," he sings in
"Leah," and we feel the man's yearning and trembling idealism.
Producer Brendan O'Brien's somber approach to presenting the music of
"Devils & Dust" is the right choice, and when various musicians
join Mr. Springsteen and Mr. O'Brien, those choices feel right too.
The fleshed-out, up-tempo numbers are driven by the great drummer Steve
Jordan, and Soozie Tyrell's violin slithers around Mr. Springsteen's
guitar and voice. Subtle, enriching filigrees abound: the pedal steel
on "All the Way Home," the unexpected trumpet on "Leah," and, on the
snappy "All I'm Thinkin' About," the soul choir of Patti Scialfa, Ms.
Tyrell and Lisa Lowell.
A mature, effecting album, "Devils & Dust," like "Nebraska," has
the qualities of art that will deepen and grow richer in the fullness
of time. It's a vivid and perceptive work fashioned by a master craftsman,
one whose greatness is best revealed in whispers and searing asides.