Bruce Springsteen - “Letter to You” Review

Story posted October 27, 2020 in Arts & Entertainment, CommRadio by Cade Miller

This Jersey Shore grown artist is one name that almost everyone knows.

Bruce Springsteen started his career in 1975 with the album “Born To Run.” Since then, his fame has grown in America and even around the world.

Springsteen has been in the shadows of new work since 2014, though. Last year, Springsteen released an album called “Western Stars.”

This year, he has given the world another album, “Letter To You.”

One year is a quick time — it could indicate that the album is going to be thrown together fast and the work could be sloppy. This is a common thing for artists who are either growing older or flopped with their latest release.

For Springsteen, it is both.

Mostly known for his upbeat songs like “Born in the U.S.A.” and “Dancing in the Dark,” Springsteen has stayed with his usual genre of rock. That continues even in this album as well.

“Letter To You” starts us off with the single, “One Minute You’re Here.” This is a slower song full of deep feeling. With his vocals, a single guitar and an orchestra of stringed instruments, the audience is hit with a memorable song.

When looking to listen to a Bruce Springsteen song, fans won’t likely turn to “One Minute You’re Here” to satisfy their hunger. But it is a great addition to his repertoire.

This is such a great song that gives off the sad country song feeling many dedicated fans will love.

Next is the album’s title track, “Letter To You,” which is easily another great song. It is full of great quality sound, and Springsteen’s voice matches perfectly.

Springsteen is known for his distinct voice and twang, and this song is a great way to show it off. Still, in the softer side of the heart, the song is just a fantastic work of art.

“Burnin’ Train” is definitely a Springsteen song, another great work of instruments and his vocals.

The most standout piece of this song is the guitar solo, and when the drums and the vocals come together to form a powerful part.

It’s just a great moment when he sings “Take me on your burnin’ train,” where the music forms a tunnel where the vocals just stand out beautifully.

By this time, it’s easy to tell this album is a work of genius with powerful vocals and excellent instruments. Just from the first three, the songs differ in the moods and the sound, yet form a compelling feeling to continue listening.

Later in the album, with songs “Janey Needs a Shower,” The Power of Prayer,” ''House of a Thousand Guitars” and “Song for Orphans,” it definitely sounds as if Springsteen got a lot of inspirations from Southern Louisianian sound.

This sound is specifically heard in Marc Cohn’s “Walking in Memphis.” Harmonica, tack piano and plucking of a steel guitar is a beautiful sound with Springsteen’s voice. While this isn’t a new sound for him it definitely stands out in this album.

Something that can easily be assumed is how much effort Springsteen put into this album. Even though it has only been one year since his latest release, it’s clear he wanted to share his current work.

A way to tell this was the length of his songs. The average song for Springsteen, since 1990, is around four minutes. Many of the songs in “Letter To You” are around four minutes, but a couple are much longer — two even hitting over six minutes.

Longer songs could be a turn off to some fans, but it could also show that he has a lot to say and a lot to show.

It is safe to say, Springsteen is still in the game. Even though he is growing older, Springsteen still has some magic up his sleeve.

“Letter To You” is total proof of that.

Rating: 9/10

Reviewer’s Favorite Songs: “Burnin’ Train”

Reviewer’s Least Favorite Song: N/A

Cade Miller is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email at cam7095@psu.edu.