Artist – Bruce Springsteen
Album – Magic
Year – 2007
Genre – Modern Classic Rock
I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “Kris, what’s with the weird genre label?” Well, there are two ways I divide up the career of The Boss. The first is the pre The Rising. This is the era where Bruce enjoyed fame from the 70’s up to the 90’s, where people started to lose interest in his music. This is the classic rock phase. Then comes the post Rising era, where he made a huge comeback in pop culture. To me, Bruce is always classic rock, but since he adopted a more modern sound, I call it “modern classic.”
Anyway with that bit of jargon out of the way, I’ll say this: I am not a huge Springsteen fan. I always thought that his music was too focused on one type of lyric writing, which I called “social activist” writing. There’s nothing wrong with that kind of writing, it’s just that when that’s the majority of your writing, it gets a little old. But this is one song I really enjoy. “You’ll Be Comin’ Down” is a super catchy, balls to the wall anthem for Bush era America, while still having a personal emotional resonance to me. This is a great song, so let’s start.
That signature Springsteen guitar sound opens the song with a pretty straightforward riff straight from the heartland. Then he comes in with that gruff and tumble voice that only he has. As soon he gets to the prechorus, you can tell this song is going to be catchy and melodic. Then the chorus hits you like, if I may use another Spingsteen reference, a wrecking ball. It’s loud and in your face and infectious as everything. All the while the E Street Band is slamming away and playing their hearts out.
I have to mention the lyrics in this song. At first glance, they appear to be written about superficiality and shallowness in an everyday context, but this album was a direct attack at President Bush, so a lot of the lyrics make metaphorical sense when viewed from that angle. All in all, its very clever and all encompassing songwriting. It can be interpreted on a political level, or a personal level, so everyone wins.
After the second chorus and after the bridge, the late Clarence Clemons has a nice, simple little sax solo. It’s not showy, but it fits the overall message and tone of the band as per usual. The last verse and chorus ratchet up the power one last time before the song ends. I found myself wanting to belt out the chorus to this song every time I heard it, so if that’s not indicative of the song, I don’t know what is.
I may not like everything Bruce Springsteen does, but I do know he’s a talented songwriter and musician. Once and awhile I find one of his gems that resonate with me, and this is one. However, this is a song that everyone who likes good old fashioned rock and roll can enjoy. It’s a rustic, catchy sound brought into the modern frame of mind. The power never seems to go away, and that’s a good thing for us.
Thanks for reading, and be sure to leave a comment!