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Lucky Town by Bruce Springsteen
Released: Mar 1992
Label: Columbia
The fierier and more concise of the two full-lengths he unleashed on the same day (no shame in Human Touch, though), Lucky Town is an object lesson in the quiet major-ness of even minor Springsteen. Stripped down and mercifully light on the "Tunnel of Love"-style synth goopiness he frequently indulged at the time, the title track growls and grouches like vintage Steve Earle, "Better Days" and "Leap of Faith" are fine gospel-rock anthems, and the whole thing is loaded with sneaky-great lines like "I can't tell my courage from my desperation." You'll be able to tell.
Rob Harvilla