Greetings to you, Boss
Tom Benton | North Springfield, VT USA | 01/31/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Recorded when he was 23, Bruce Springsteen's shiny debut is like nine dances over quicksand. Sometimes he sinks: the acoustic "Mary Queen of Arkansas" is horrific, and the other acoustic number, "The Angel," isn't much better. But for the bulk of the record, Springsteen jive-talks and rolls his way to success via absurdist anecdotes ("Blinded by the Light," much better than the ridiculously showy Manfred Mann cover), street-myth rambles ("Lost in the Flood"), and youthful underclass poetry ("Growin' Up," "Spirit in the Night"). Even in the case of the aforementioned acoustic nightmares, one is saved by the disarmingly charming "Does This Bus Stop at 82nd Street?", the other by the irresistibly straightforward "For You." Sometimes primitive, often admirably romantic, and consistently smart, "Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J." had shades of Dylan and Van Morrison--not bad for a twenty-something punk from Jersey."