Also, *made. That was a dumb mistake.
See, I don’t know. This is a really good album, and these new songs absolutely rip live. But I think you’re selling the band’s legacy short by starting with the 59 Sound. I know that’s where most people got into the band, but it ignores what are arguably their two best, most heart-felt, most rocking records: Sink or Swim and Senor and the Queen. Both have balladry, acoustic and otherwise, in addition to pure punk pummel, and those songs always get the best reaction live, because they seem to have been written to be played for people. I know those weren’t made by the same band that made Handwritten, metaphorically anyway, but they provide the key to the americana and heart-on-sleeve aesthetic that everyone identifies as Springsteenian. Because sure, Springsteen is involved, but these really are songs about 30-something jersey guys, aka the band, and that maked them resonate with a large audience, even when they were just a basement band.