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Bruce Springsteen at dusk with “Letter to you”

Bruce Springsteen, at 71, signs a twentieth album that sounds like a farewell. For several years now, the Boss has been in a hurry to do, to say, to sing. There was an autobiography in 2016, Born to Run, in 2018 a series of spoken concerts which gave rise to the disc Springsteen on Broadway, in 2019 a country album Western Stars and his film … There you go Letter to You, the recording of which resulted in a documentary.

Always rock, Springsteen finds the E Street Band. This is the first time since the sessions of Born in the U.S.A., released in 1984, which he recorded live, almost under live conditions, with his long-standing group.

Five days to box the album

It only took five days in his studio in New Jersey to box, with raw sincerity, nine new songs and three titles written in the 1970s, “Janey Needs a Shooter”, “If I Was the Priest” and ” Song for Orphans ”. Musicians with weathered faces and his wife Patti Scialfa surround the singer, who has filmed himself in snowy landscapes, immense plains bordered by forests. A rural America with wide horizons.

“What I discovered in good and bad days / I wrote it all in ink and blood / I plunged into my soul / And I signed with my name / This letter that I send you “, sings Springsteen. His album ends with “I’ll See You in my Dreams”, an almost disturbing message. His grated voice, sometimes seeming to be on the verge of breaking, remains vigorous, carried by this tempo which gives rock all its energy. The most beautiful title turns out to be a guitar / voice ballad, “One Minute You’re Here”, a song about the passage of time whose folk modulation reminds Johnny Cash.

Columbia Sony CD, € 16.99. Documentary on Apple TV +

Bruce Springsteen, the total, by Philippe Margotin and Jean-Michel Guesdon, Éd. E / P / A, 672 p., € 49.95.

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