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The Official Letter to You album and documentary thread


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A truly fabulous record. Coming hot on the heels of another masterpiece in Western Stars last year, Bruce has gone back to basics and recorded one of the best rock E Street Band albums since the 70's. What a talent...in my opinion he is in a class of his own. Nearly 50 years of writing the most glorious music and lyrics of my lifetime. He is still delivering in spades. Here is my brief take on the album which I have listed to a few times today.

One minute you're there; Lovely opener which sets the scene for the rest of the album. It's sad, but even though the album has a sad theme it is also hugely uplifting.

Letter to You; A great rocker which says it all with minimalist lyrics.

Burnin' Train; E Street Band sound great on this song. 

Janey needs a shooter; Let me start by saying I have never been a big fan of this song. The band however do a great job. I do think it goes on a bit too long and becomes a bit cluttered...that's my only small criticism of the album over with.

Last man Standing; One of the best songs on the album. Great lyrics and melody.

The Power of Prayer; A strong candidate for the best song on the album. Brilliant song.

House of a thousand guitars; My favourite song on the album, and for me the album's highlight. It's got everything, a melody to die for, great sax, wonderful lyrics which are an uplifting gift to us fans at this time.

Rainmaker; Took a couple of listens but now I love it. It's the most complex song on the album, but it works really well.

If I was the priest; Brilliant up to date version of what was always for me an awesome song. I love the original (because I love Bruce solo at the piano at any time), but this is a spellbinding new version.

Ghosts; Another candidate for best song on the album. Great rocker which pays tribute to those gone but never forgotten, and also the sheer power of music.

Song for Orphans; Always been a brilliant song, and this is just magical. Hugely influenced by Dylan as he was way back then. Incredible wordplay. Melody perhaps a bit too similar to Dylan's My Back Pages, but we'll let him off with that.

I'll see you in my dreams; Gorgeous melody and what a message to finish an outstanding record. 

Two incredible albums in consecutive years. Two very different albums, but they are both smothered in Springsteen's magic dust. We are very fortunate to be fans of this man and his music.

Having said all of the above , I am going to resist the huge temptation to give it five stars. I say this because (a) as has been said previously, that accolade should go to his true masterpieces Born to Run, Darkness, Nebraska etc. and (b) I think Janey plods on a bit too long and is a bit too cluttered and as I said I have never really been a big fan of the song.

Four and half stars from me it is.

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What I like the most about this album is that there is something for everyone on it. Depending on what era you prefer, what style of song you prefer, whether you like acoustic Bruce, rock Bruce, pop B

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The wife was out with friends last night, so as I was cooking and eating dinner. Listened to the album, after dinner Moma still wasn't home so I watched the movie again. I can honestly say I have neve

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27 minutes ago, MacBruce said:

House of a thousand guitars; My favourite song on the album, and for me the album's highlight. It's got everything, a melody to die for, great sax, wonderful lyrics which are an uplifting gift to us fans at this time.

 

I've just finished watching the Apple film and I agree.

Sobbed my heart out ... absolutely love this one - the music, his voice ... him.

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Am I the only one who didn’t knew the 3 old songs? I am not familiar with “original” of must I say “bootlegged “ versions of these songs. For me they are brand new and they are really fitting on this record. I only knew “Orphan” from one of the Devils and Dust archive releases but I prefer this version I must say. 

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4 minutes ago, Marnix said:

Am I the only one who didn’t knew the 3 old songs? I am not familiar with “original” of must I say “bootlegged “ versions of these songs. For me they are brand new and they are really fitting on this record. I only knew “Orphan” from one of the Devils and Dust archive releases but I prefer this version I must say. 

The only thing i was familiar with was this...from a 2 cd set of Bruce covers ....always loved this 

 

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46 minutes ago, biloxiparish said:

Do not like Rainmaker. Gonna give it a couple more chances. But probably gonna listen the album soon without it. 

Was the same for me. Not so much that I didn't like it but felt it was out of kilter with the rest of the shabang but now it's one of my favourite tracks on the album

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6 hours ago, thecommish said:

For a man that is 71, the magic is still there.  You can tell that "Janey Needs A Shooter" was written in the 70s.  It has that raw power from a man 40 plus years younger.  It hits you like a freight train.  "Letter to You" is the staple for me.  It sums up nicely how he feels about the band and his fans.  It's like the greatest gift to give at a time we need it.  I wish people could just take a moment, separate politics and music and enjoy musicians and songwriters for the gift they have and give to us.  This album was just what I needed, a smile.

It is easier to separate the music from the politics when the musicians separate their music from the politics. I’ve listened to Rainmaker and laugh a bit at the idea that he couldn’t finish it during Obama’s 2 terms but when I hear it I see how it would aptly applied to a politician of either party. Without Bruce bringing up his own politics I would have just assumed that it was a shot at politicians in general. Whatever though, I like the song.

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8 minutes ago, Jertucky said:

It is easier to separate the music from the politics when the musicians separate their music from the politics. I’ve listened to Rainmaker and laugh a bit at the idea that he couldn’t finish it during Obama’s 2 terms but when I hear it I see how it would aptly applied to a politician of either party. Without Bruce bringing up his own politics I would have just assumed that it was a shot at politicians in general. Whatever though, I like the song.

I thought it was written for Bush !!!

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Two listens, and it is growing on me.  Love the guitar in Burnin' Train.  Thousand guitars has a National feel to it.  Songs for Orphans is channeling Dylan. Love If I Was a Priest with those trippy pre-BTR lyrics.  I'll See You in My Dreams channels Roy Orbison.  Lots going on here, but it works.  

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3 minutes ago, Early North Jersey said:

I thought it was written for Bush !!!

Right, he said he started it during Bush’s time in office then couldn’t finish it until Trump got in office. I don’t want to turn this into a political discussion, just pointing out that if you could take a step back from your (not you specifically but the generic your) political leanings you could see how it could apply to members of either party.

 

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9 hours ago, Doc said:

Fascinating. I have a pretty much exact overall reaction to the whole album, but about a different selection of songs. One reason I love Bruce fandom. For one, I love the use of "One Minute" as the opener specifically because it's such an unusual choice. I was frankly struggling to really get into "Letter to You" and "Ghosts" when they first appeared, but in the album as a whole, I like them a whole lot more. This album is a real ALBUM and works well as a whole (though I agree that "Rainmaker," though I think I like it a lot better than you do, is out of place).

For me, standouts are "One Minute," "Burnin'," "Janey," and the entire last half of the album (except "House"). But I really love parts of every song.

Nice! I like it Doc! Thanks buddy,

 

Brad

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6 hours ago, Sean McNeill said:

'Burnin' Train', lousy tune? Really? Opinions tho eh?

Man, that intro!! It stuns me that this band, this guy can do this to me after all these years. Would be a dream to hear it live. Pure rock! 

'Ghosts'...instant classic.

'I'll See You in my Dreams' an emotional rollercoaster. 

A brilliant record. Best in years.

Thanks Sean!  Brilliant indeed! Always is though. Right?!?! lol

 

Brad

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Two listens for me so far.  A great album, my favourites are the old songs.

 

His best album since Western Stars. ;)

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1 hour ago, biloxiparish said:

Do not like Rainmaker. Gonna give it a couple more chances. But probably gonna listen the album soon without it. 

After one listen of the album that one seemed forced. I agree.

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2 hours ago, Eileen said:

I've just finished watching the Apple film and I agree.

Sobbed my heart out ... absolutely love this one - the music, his voice ... him.

He looked hot in that white singled didn't you think ? 

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17 minutes ago, lonely poet said:

My top 6 after 2 listens. Love Rainmaker right off the bat so surprised at the hate so far.

1. Janey

2. Priest

3. Rainmaker

4. Train

5. Ghosts

6. Last Man

Rainmaker is brilliant.  My favorite song on an album of highlights.

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I downloaded the album and was going to listen to it in the car today but I had technical issues and it wouldn’t play,  so I watched the movie when I got home instead.

Loved loved loved it.  Looking forward to actually listening to the album tomorrow. 

I’ll See You in my Dreams will be playing at my funeral. 

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