This album is a mixed bag. There are some excellent songs like The River, Independence Day, Caddilac Ranch, The Price You Pay, and a few others. However, there is much filler on this double disc. It would be better of if Bruce only released a single CD and left the rest(Two Hearts, Drive All Night(9 minutes of painful moaning), Wreck On The Highway, Stolen Car)on the cutting room floor. Bruce could have explored a few more styles as the songs are either rockers or ballads with little in between. Check out Greetings, E Street Shuffle, Born To Run, Born In The USA, and Lucky Town for his best recordings.
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Glenn Wiener (Glennster2008)
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Despite the acclaim accordedBorn to RunandDarkness on the Edge of Town, this is the album that broke Springsteen into the big leagues, thanks to "Hungry Heart," then his most pointedly commercial song; it had new fans swooning but some old ones grumbling for the "poetic" Springsteen of days gone by. Not to worry--though more economical lyrically,The Riverhad something to offer nearly everyone: There's old-time frat rock ("Sherry Darling"), empathetic character studies ("The River," "Stolen Car," "Independence Day"), passionate rockers ("Out in the Street"), dramatic ballads ("Point Blank"), and even a couple of good-natured goofs ("Cadillac Ranch," "Crush on You," "Ramrod"). A sprawling double-disc set,The Riveroffers proof that Springsteen could do it all and could do it better than virtually anyone else.--Daniel Durchholz