Easily his best work since "The River," Bruce Springsteen's latest record "Magic," is an energetic, nostalgic rock album that is equally catchy in spirit and profound in scope.
The album opener and first single, "Radio Nowhere," is largely driven by the backing (and sorely missed since 2002's "The Rising" ) E Street Band. "Is there anybody alive out there?"' Springsteen asks, lamenting the "last American night" while trying to find his way home.
The "way home," has always been a common theme for Springsteen, and in his last few years he has spent considerable public effort talking about the Iraq War, and a way home for American troops. This made for better talking points than it did music, as evidenced by 2006's "We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions," in which he channeled folk activist Pete Seeger.
Not that ever really left, but it seems that The Boss, at least the better one, is back.