I bought this album in a sale. The first time I listened to it, I thought it was the best thing I'd heard in months.
This is Bruce's divorce album ( I'm sure ). This is an album about him losing the one he loves, and it's for real.
The real strength here is that you sense this album comes completely from the heart. That's not to say the album is raw, but what you have has been modulated and refined so what you're left with is the truth - Wordsworth said that emotion was passion recalled in tranquility, and that's what we have here.
What makes it strong is that Bruce is very much a man's man. He's not the type to conjure up fake tears and trauma - so his sadness here is the real deal.
It's an album about how it's hard to do the right thing, hard to stand up tall. It's about how important love is, and how hard it hits you when its gone. The beauty is that it lacks rancour and accusation. It's pure.
This is not Born in the USA, and it's not Born To Run - so fans of Springsteen might not find it completely to their taste. However, those who find Springsteen a little bombastic ( not saying he is ! ) should maintain an open mind about his work ( qv Ghost of Tom Joad ). He's a man with plenty to say.
Stand out tracks - Walk Like a Man, Brilliant Disguise, Valentines Day, and the glorious One Step Up.