Review Summary: A truly brilliant album, one that earns it's place in rock n' roll history.
It's been nearly four decades since the release of this album and it is still one of the greatest in the history of rock n' roll.
This is an album that takes you by storm, starting out with the fantastic "Badlands", the album is full of some of the greatest songs in Springsteen's arsenal. There are literally no filler tracks, with every single one standing out in it's own unique way.
The album has a central concept of a young man trying to escape his small hometown with his lover, Candy. He races cars and wears leather jackets, he thinks he's a bad ass. Within this story lie the central concepts of dreams, escape, fear of growing up, and destiny. Springsteen is at his 'every man' best here, tapping into topics felt deep in the soul of every young man. Nobody wants to be forgotten, everybody wants to go down in history. But by acknowledging these very facts, the album begins to analyze in and of itself; are you more likely to be forgotten if you try to not be?
It's a very philosophical record, and one that inspires much thought. Adding to this is the fact that Springsteen is at his lyrical finest. Springsteen has always been among theb est lyricist in music history, and this album proves this and more. Dark, broody, and thought provoking, the lyrics on "Darkness on the Edge of Town" are not just some of the best of Springsteen's, they are some of the best in history.
The story goes on, at a breakneck pace, never leaving time for a dull moment over the course of the album's nearly hour-long run-time. With the final track, the title track itself, the story ends on a fairly bleak note, but the only truly fitting end to this story. I do not want to spoil the ending for anyone whose yet to listen to the album, but it is much like the rest of the album, truly genius.
The soundscape itself never grows old either, with all songs introducing a new variable to the equation. What it boils down to is that regardless of whether Springsteen is surrounded by raging overbite guitars and pounding drums, or just a simple piano lick, he's constantly full of emotion and equally as brilliant.
Truly brilliant, a masterpiece of rock n' roll, to anyone who has never given old school, vintage Springsteen a chance, pick up a copy of "Darkness on the edge of Town", you'll be thankful you did.