Bruuuuuuuce!! Here’s yet another review!

Springsteen’s ‘Rising’ strikes right post-9/11 note
By Edna Gundersen, USA TODAY
Songwriters grappling with Sept. 11 fallout did little to affirm music’s power to heal and enlighten, instead burdening the airwaves with such flag-waving bombast as Toby Keith’s Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American) and Paul McCartney’s clunky Freedom.
It took populist rocker Bruce Springsteen to get it right. The Rising (three and a half stars out of four).
Impressionistic rather than literal, Springsteen’s commentary sidesteps specifics and instead seeps into universal tales of love and community, evoking haunting images of that dreadful day even in the pre-9/11 My City of Ruins’ rumination on New Jersey’s Asbury Park. The result is an emotionally vivid portrait of grief and renewal that encapsulates a nation’s struggle for recovery and understanding.
Yet the album, out today, never forgets its role as entertainment. A shrewd marriage of message and muscle, The Rising rushes toward the morning after the mourning, the lively wake that celebrates survival and unity even in the midst of unbearable pain.
Springsteen’s willingness to walk that fine line is a brave move, given that fans would have been content with a rote regurgitation of exhilarating E Street swagger. On this first album of originals since 1995’s The Ghost of Tom Joad and first full studio record with the E Street Band since 1984’s Born in the USA, Springsteen keeps one foot planted in his roots while the other kicks over new stones.
Lyrically, he confronts thorny territory with spectacular success (except in assorted repetitious choruses and the lazy cliche†of Waitin’ on a Sunny Day). Springsteen achieves new levels of grace and emotional intensity in Paradise, told from the viewpoint of a suicide bomber, and Empty Sky, a subdued but harrowing tale that could be about a lost lover or the skyline gap left by the fallen twin towers. The devastating Into the Fire is less ambiguous: “The sky was falling and streaked with blood/I heard you calling me, then you disappeared into the dust/Up the stairs, into the fire.”
Musically, Springsteen fails to break new ground aside from the cautious use of electronica in The Fuse and the exotica of Pakistani qwali singer Asif Ali Khan in Worlds Apart. Mary’s Place, a transparent throwback to Rosalita (Come Out Tonight), is an apparent concession to Boss diehards stubbornly stalled in the ’70s.
Producer Brendan O’Brien, best known for his steady hand in Pearl Jam records, gives The Rising its richly textured soundscape and pulls Springsteen’s commanding voice front and center. Though limited to its usual paces, the E Street Band struts with confidence, enhancing the tent-revival fervor Springsteen whips up as an antidote for psychic wounds.