Bruce has made no secret of the fact that most of the songs here were written in response to the events of 11/9/01. Apparently he felt compelled to write a new album and tour after a fan yelled "We need you!" from a passing car. American needs its working class hero to motivate and uplift people and to reflect on what happened. Several songs deal directly with the aftermath, but hope is always found in some of the most beautiful lyrics and melodies he has written. The starter track, Lonesome Day, sets the scene and is pure classic Springsteen rock. The following song, Into the Fire, is a tribute to the American Fighters and features brilliant country style backing vocals. I disagree with other reviews saying that these songs all could have been written 15 years ago. "Worlds Apart" is very "new age" ethnic sounding with Middle-Eastern style backing vocals, calling for tolerance of other cultures, complete with dance-beat drum loops, which also appear to some extent on "The Fuse". These songs are clearly a radical departure for Springsteen, sound very modern and sound more akin to artists like The Dave Mathews Band, and brings Springsteen into the 21st Century. The most moving song for me is "Your Missing", which is blessed with a stunning melody. The only total throwback to the bar-band, Jersey shore style music is "Mary's Place" which would not sound out of place on "The River" or even "Born in the USA". A tremondous effort, Springsteen's music, essentially about picking yourself up after a fall, never giving up and choosing the right paths has never been more relevant than it is today. A moving, must buy album for fans and newcomers alike.