The Boss is back

Contact Zac Younkins at

Contact Zac Younkins at [email protected]

Zac Younkins

Some artists truly stand the test of time. For decades following 1975‘s release of the breakthrough “Born to Run,” the music of The Boss was universally loved. Nearly 40 years later, one can still find the occasional vintage “Born in the U.S.A.” T-shirt on campus.

Though heavily laden with good intentions, Springsteen’s latest venture sounds just like what it appears to be   — the B-sides and outtakes of The Boss. Still, Springsteen’s songwriting talent is unparalleled, and the songs have a raw, Americana appeal.

Through raw acoustics, folk strings and Celtic touches, which Pitchfork calls distracting and puzzling, Springsteen makes the album a worthy addition to his catalogue, despite its content of essentially bootlegs and impromptu concert mainstays. Fans of Springsteen have been fans for years, and will still enjoy more tracks from the legend, no matter how contrived. He is an inspired man, political, but not overtly; he is one of the last practitioners from the days of the understated protest songs of Dylan and Gaye.

“High Hopes” has its weak points, “Frankie Fell In Love” is nearly cringe-worthy; but, Springsteen’s passion and popularity among the only people who still purchase their music rather than download it online, the middle-aged demographic, will likely carry the album through.

Where “Wrecking Ball” had some truly atypical sounds for Springsteen and a compelling group of songs, “High Hopes” will coast on the passion that shines through on songs like “The Wall” and “Down in the Hole.” The album had the No. 1 spot on last week’s Billboard charts and is currently No. 8.

Springsteen’s music will always be relevant and appeal to the masses — even on an international spectrum. To announce the newest album, a newspaper headline in Costa Rica read, “El Jefe Viene,” or “The Boss comes.” A simple headline in a local paper, granted, but the simplicity just shows how recognizable the artist is. Abroad, people see his music as America incarnate.

Contact Zac Younkins at [email protected]