Bruce Springsteen's latest release hits the needle with its opening number being an amplitude of ear candy. Unlike his divorce release, this is a musical genre-clashing experience. There are jazz guitar flavored elixirs layered over rock beats. The bass lines are animated junctures of which the mission is to connect the dots. Jazz, Rock, Blues and folk blend well as used by Springsteen.
The Wild The Innocent & The E Street Shuffle is not in disguise but rolls out the red carpet for some of the old time blues. On "Wild Billy's Circus Story", he uses the tuba less like a circus instrument; it is more introspective of New Orleans jazz when it was spelled 'Jass.' The music of the 20's and Bix Beiderbecke's coronet would filter over subtle beats and tuba pumped swing. The energy that blew through some of those old records are whisked into the sounds of Springsteen's music today.
On The Wild The Innocent & The E Street Shuffle Springsteen wants to take all the music that has ever affected him and montage it in each track except "Rosalita." This song is a rock anthem of which the theme has been used by songwriters for years. Who would not want to get the rich contract & the girl? Every guitar-toting songwriter. They are not the ones gonna get the girl when Springsteen comes to town. The guitar rhythm has a lot in common with THE DOOBIE BROTHERS "China Grove" from their latest release The Captain and Me, but it is one of the few times this year that Springsteen appears influenced by any music being recorded.
The storyteller that lurks inside explodes in the lyrics of "4th of July Asbury Park" as his ability to transpose visuals with this composition can make the listener feel as if they can reach out and touch the characters he is singing about. You can feel the carnival of fireworks displayed before your eyes while the beach smell consumes your senses. Then "Kitty's Back" at times could be a Broadway musical extravaganza with characters running to and from every crevice of the stage with elements of "West Side Story." Could this have been the combo that made him pen this song?
The best thing about his vocal styling is that each word is accented for understanding and not camouflaged in fear of being ridiculed with misunderstanding. His lines are at time almost full sentences, still allowing each listener to interpret the song to their own personal life. The "Incident on 57th Street" songwriting is spread with Lou Reed-like approaches to the architecture of a song.
The lengthy "New York City Serenade" brings the record to a close with some incredible piano art that is so New York it screams "play me." Although it is conclusively about a man and woman hooking up to meet each other's needs with potential to do destructive things along the way, it gives strong vibes to the days of Cab Calloway. Also known as The Reaper man which was a song about those who favor marijuana, Calloway was not afraid to tell his tale and was loved New York. The Cotton Club was the foremost jazz venue in Harlem and when he secured a nightly spot on stage when Duke Ellington was touring, there was no other place to be. Springsteen is able to emulate all the feelings of New York from the 20's right up to present day.
As with his first release, Springsteen holds with one preferred name to inject into each and every song. Greetings from Asbury Park NJ had Sandy, now it is Jane. Who his muse will be next time, only time will tell. These last two releases came in quick success so strong, touring while spreading the word should keep him far from the studio for some time.