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Paige Morse

United States

High school student, Asbury Park enthusiast | "Faith will be rewarded" -Bruce Springsteen

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An Album Born To Run

April 14, 2015

PROMPT: Album Review

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Growing up in working class Freehold, New Jersey, Bruce Springsteen watched his father struggle to keep a steady job while his mother was a secretary at an insurance office. The Boss had a complicated relationship with his father, which he credited as the inspiration for many of his songs. His passionate storytelling would not have been the same if Bruce Springsteen got along great with his father.

His third album, Born to Run, skyrocketed the Boss into the spotlight. Even though the album only has eight songs, Born to Run is one of the most powerful albums of all time, showcasing what it's like to be young and wild. 

In his previous albums, Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. and The Wild, The Innocent, and The E Street Shuffle, Bruce Springsteen crammed as many rhyming words as he could into most of his songs. I like a lot of the songs on these albums, but not many of them compare to the poetic masterpieces found on 1975's Born to Run.

Born To Run was the album where Bruce found his place in rock n' roll. The eight songs on Born To Run were laid out in the perfect order, beginning with "Thunder Road," a compelling ballad opening with a beautiful harmonica played by the Boss himself. The closing line in "Thunder Road" summarizes the entire album: "It's a town full of losers and I'm pulling out of here to win."

Anyone can relate to the songs on this album. Some of them deal with breaking out of the small town where nothing goes on while others deal with relationships and the struggle of growing up. The lyrics in each song are so honest and paint a picture in the listener's mind. The music is tied together with the smooth, intense saxophone playing of the late Clarence Clemons.

"Jungleland" is arguably one of the best songs Mr. Springsteen has ever written. The song takes place in New York City and is the love story of the "barefoot girl" and the "magic rat." Springsteen made this song very dramatized with bizarre main characters and lyrics like, "There's an opera out of the turnpike. There's a ballet being fought out in the alley." The Big Man's sax solo in the middle builds up a wall of emotions as the song's tone shifts from exciting to heartbreaking.

Bruce Springsteen uses a lot of girls' names in most of the songs, which makes each song even more interesting and moving. When he sings about escaping his washed-up hometown with a girl named Wendy in "Born To Run," whoever is listening is Wendy. In "Thunder Road" I am his love interest, Mary. In "Backstreets" I am his long-time friend, Terry.

There are many places mentioned in the album such as the bustling streets of New York City and the small New Jersey town everyone has to break out of, which enables anyone who cares to listen to be able to picture the "street poetry" Bruce has perfectly sculpted. When I listen I can see each song happening right in front of me. Bruce's storytelling knocks me off my feet. When I listen to Born To Run I feel like I am a part of something great.

 

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