Review of The Promise Album by Bruce Springsteen

Its funny how people get their nicknames like Elvis 'The King' Cliff Richard 'Peter Pan of Pop' Michael Jackson 'King of Pop' and not forgetting Bruce Springsteen 'The Boss'. For 'The Boss' you could argue that he got his nick name after releasing 'Born To Run' in 1975. Blimey ninety percent of the people reading this weren't even a twinkle in their dad's eye when this was released.

Bruce Springsteen The Promise Album

The album that followed was the 1978 classic 'Darkness On The Edge Of Town' - an album that we now learn could have easily been over forty songs long. The cull took place, the album was released and decades later some of the other tracks from those sessions have now been released in the shape of his new album 'The Promise'

Predominantly 'Promise' showcases two things; one, what a great album 'Darkness On The Edge Of Town' really was, sorry is. And the second is what an impossible job it must have been to decipher these forty songs into one album all those years ago.

It is amazing to think that there were songs discarded as the quality of the leftovers is incredibly high. Some tracks were given to other artists, for example 'Because The Night' became a massive hit for Patti Smith. Strangely listening to the original version it seems a little weird with male vocals and Springsteen must be more than happy with what Patti did with the song, and this just highlights the songwriting genius that he held all those years ago.

The one quality that 'The Boss' holds is that you can't really pint point a certain track and say that it stands out a mile. That is purely down to the high standard of each track he writes and performs.

The second CD again holds a tune that has a story around it. 'Fire', was actually originally intended for The King himself Elvis Presley, however The Pointer Sisters took the song to number two in the charts and you now it's hard to imagine the mighty Presley performing this song, although he probably could have.

The Promise is filled with a mix of pop and rock songs, and even some, musically that you wouldn't really associate with 'The Boss'. 'Talk To Me' is a perfect pop song but it all feels like a surreal moment listening to it. It's like Stevie Wonder singing a Rock n Roll song, but even after all of this, 'Talk To Me' is actually brilliant, it's a fabulous up beat tune.

There seems an irony that 'The Promise' which was written and made (in a fashion) all those years ago is Springsteen's 17th Studio album, which just shows that his songwriting is timeless. There is no doubt that 'The Promise' is something that had to be released and shared with the rest of the world, luckily for us the Springsteen camp thought the same.


Mark Moore