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Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band perform during the Vote For Change concert in New Jersey on Oct. 13, 2004.
Magic, Bruce Springsteen's first studio album with the E Street Band in five years, came out earlier this month. The event has occasioned at least a pair of network-TV appearances — including a live morning concert on NBC's Today show and a mortifying 60 Minutes interview.
Fresh Air rock critic Ken Tucker says Springsteen's approach to promoting the album — and the way the news media are receiving it — says something about both the state of the media (precarious) and Springsteen's place in American pop culture.
The good news: Magic, with its elliptical lyrics and its anti-war mood, is no knee-jerk-lefty concert-tour souvenir, but a heckuva good album from a rocker who's both a thoughtful middle-aged man and a vital artist making adjustments to his trademark sound.