Bruce Springsteen ‘Chapter and Verse’ Album Review Roundup

September 22, 2016

Bruce Springsteen’s new album is ‘Chapter and Verse.’ Its release coincides with the legendary rocker’s autobiography, ‘Born to Run.’ Now the music critics are weighing in and you can see a roundup of reviews right here.

Bruce Springsteen

It’s double the fanfare for this dual release of Bruce Springsteen’s long-awaited autobiography, ‘Born to Run,’ which takes its title from his breakthrough 1975 album that put him on the pop culture map and landed him the coveted cover of Newsweek magazine.

The book and the album are at once a summary of his life’s work thus far and yet, by far a conclusion as Springsteen is on tour right now with the E Street playing increasingly long concerts of four hours or even more. As of this writing, his longest concert to date, in Philadelphia, was four hours and four minutes long a record he set just days ago. That should quell any anxiety that at age 67 The Boss is sailing out into the proverbial sunset of his storied career.

The new album is a compilation with five previously unreleased songs recorded years before he would establish himself as a force in rock music with the E Street Band. It’s also his first new album since 2014’s ‘High Hopes’ which divided the critics and which had an unusual rollout, with three of the songs debuting on the TV series ‘The Good Wife.’

But this album too has an unusual rollout, as it’s tied thematically with the book, and includes some rarities from the mid-1960s; songs that Bruce Springsteen recorded with The Castiles during his teen years, including a song, ‘Baby I’ which he co-wrote back in those days with one of fellow band members as well as a cover of Willie Dixon’s “You Can’t Judge a Book by the Cover” recorded in 1967.

The full track list is below, followed by a roundup of reviews from the critics.

Chapter and Verse Track List

1. “Baby I” — The Castiles
2. “You Can’t Judge a Book by the Cover” — The Castiles
3. “He’s Guilty (The Judge Song)” — Steel Mill
4. “Ballad of Jesse James” — The Bruce Springsteen Band
5. “Henry Boy”
6. “Growin’ Up”
7. “4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)”
8. “Born to Run”
9. “Badlands”
10. “The River”
11. “My Father’s House”
12. “Born in the U.S.A.”
13. “Brilliant Disguise”
14. “Living Proof”
15. “The Ghost of Tom Joad”
16. “The Rising”
17. “Long Time Comin'”
18. “Wrecking Ball”

“….You can hear it in his voice already – he’s a 22-year-old kid restless to wear a man’s shoes, taking on the myths of the Old West when he’s still stuck playing bars in Jersey. He’s fired up about the territory he wants to explore. And over the course of Chapter and Verse, you can hear him get there…..” –Rolling Stone

“….Companion album to Springsteen’s “Born to Run” autobiography is long on memories, short on must-haves…..” — Newsday

“…Chapter and Verse arranges his work in a way that rings true to his journey. Following the opening string of songs, “Born to Run,” sounds here like the revelation that it was: a perfect distillation of the music he loved and a culmination of the work he had already done….” — Pitchfork

“….The most revelatory song of the now mature songwriter is, though, “My Father’s House”, from Nebraska (1982). There’s a sluggish, nightmare feel as Springsteen dreams of a bramble-tangled house in a haunted field, a home where he’s no longer known; a past he can’t return to. The merits of this rough, questionable compilation lie in such small revelations. ….” –The Independent

“….On the face of it, the first six tracks here are by far and away the most interesting, given we’ve never heard them before. ‘Baby I’ and a cover of Willie Dixon’s ‘You Can’t Judge a Book by the Cover’ are cuts from 1966 and 67 respectively, when a 17-year-old Springsteen was the guitarist and singer in The Castiles. T ….–Drowned in Sound

“….That’s ultimately what makes Chapter and Verse unique–it’s not necessarily the Springsteen songs that soundtracked our lives; it’s the ones that soundtracked his…..” –Paste Magazine

“….On Chapter & Verse, “4th of July, Asbury Park” is positioned between “Growing Up” and “Born to Run,” the fulcrum between the early years and the maturation, and that helps fuel the story Springsteen wants to tell with this album: he’s not only illuminating the themes from his memoir, but illustrating how he grew as an artist. That he’s able to tell that tale within the course of an 80-minute compilation is remarkable. ….” –All Music

Check back for more reviews. You can see Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Chapter And Verse’ album cover art and trailer video below!

Pictures: PR Photos

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