For those who care, my review of Bruce Springsteen's Magic has just gone live at the website of The Magazine Formerly Known As Stereo Review.
A long time ago — May of 1968, to be precise — first-generation rock critic Jon Landau reviewed Bob Dylan's John Wesley Harding in Crawdaddy (which, by the way, has recently been revived — online), and he summed it up with this particularly felicitous and insightful phrase: "Dylan has felt the War."
It is, to say the least, a tad ironic that lo these many years later, a similar phrase could be tagged to Bruce Springsteen's Magic — and not just because Landau has been Springsteen's manager for longer than some people who will buy this album have been alive. But yes, the specter of Iraq does haunt some of the songs here — and not just the explicitly antiwar "Last to Die," a fairly heartbreaking piece of work, it should be noted, albeit more in resignation than in anger...
You can read the rest of it here.