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Bruised Arms & Broken Rhythm
(Fill In The Blank Records)
Take a man-on-the-street approach, and you will be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t have at least one Springsteen song that they couldn’t live without. The Boss has developed a career on a certain passion, a carefully crafted vulnerability and a workingman’s resoluteness that most everyone can find a way to identify with. His songs, in large part, define the heart and soul of the triumph and struggles of being American.
Taking on a project like this – for any artist – is a bold move. But especially for Moa Holmsten, who, by all accounts, was not a huge Bruce fan when she started. The Swedish native hasn’t had the all-American Springsteen narrative engrained in her from birth like the rest of us.
She learned to love him through him; and it shows. Her album, which reimagines 15 Springsteen tracks (both classic and deep-cuts), reaches for the heart of his songs in all new ways. Standouts like “Streets of Fire” lend themselves to showcasing the versatility of her vocals, while “Tougher Than the Rest” takes a much airier approach to gut-wrenching lyrics.
These songs will fall short in the minds of Springsteen lovers – because let’s face it, what makes Bruce great is his humanness. And while that’s easy to adapt, maybe, it’s not necessarily easy to recreate. But, try lending your ears to each track as if it were your first time hearing it, and you may find a new way to appreciate some of his most visceral tunes, and some of Holmsten’s bravest work to date.