Album of the Week: Bruce Springsteen, 'Letter To You'

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Bruce Springsteen, 'Letter To You'
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, 'Letter To You' (Columbia Records)
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Jill Riley - Album of the Week: Bruce Springsteen, 'Letter To You'
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Toward the end of 2019, Bruce Springsteen went into his home studio in New Jersey with the band he's relied on for about 45 years, The E Street Band. They spent only four days, working like a well-oiled machine, to record the new Bruce Springsteen album, Letter to You. They laid out the tracks in a quick process, as they recorded the songs as a full band, with Bruce singing his vocals live.

Letter to You was recorded pre-pandemic and the lyrical content is not reflective of the current political climate. This album is a very personal story for Springsteen, who is now 71. The songs are full of nostalgia, with Springsteen pulling inspiration from memories of the first band he joined, The Castiles, to revisiting demos he recorded before his debut album and band members who have past away. He's been able to channel his past experiences into this album, but he is still able to make it sound like he's still in the present. Bruce has used his aging process to share wisdom and express gratitude for those who have helped him get to the place he is now. Letter to You is a love letter to Springsteen's past, to the E Street Band, to rock music, and especially to his fans who have supported him for most of his life.

There's an excellent documentary on Apple TV right now, that takes fans on a behind the scenes journey into the making of Letter to You. Springsteen narrates the stories behind the songs, you get to see how the E Street Band works together in the studio, and a glimpse into how passionate Springsteen is about his work. It's also very cool to see the inside of his home studio in New Jersey.

Highlights from the album include: "Letter to You", "Ghosts", "Last Man Standing", and "Song for Orphans". The last song I listed, "Song for Orphans" is one of three songs Springsteen dug out of the archives from demos and recordings he made before his debut record Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J..

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  • Bruce Springsteen - press photo 2020
    Bruce Springsteen's new studio album with the E Street Band, 'Letter To You,' will be released by Columbia Records on October 23. (Danny Clinch)

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