Listen to this and die happy! | Reviewer: Anonymous | 9/10/13
This is, as Jon Landau wrote in 'Rolling Stone', the last great Rock song.
i sometimes think that there is too much emphasis on 'meaning'. At the end of the day it's a beautiful song with a storyline.
To me this song is about ordinary life - none of us are Rock stars but we all get by on what we can. The girl might be bored (understatement) but the narrator realises this, in time I hope, and remembers to pay attention to her. One question I ask myself is - Did Bruce think all this or did he just write a bloody brilliant song? Are we all guilty of overthinging the lyrics?
See you in the street.... | Reviewer: Anonymous | 7/11/12
Most of us start life as dreamers. Later in life we get boged down with every day things, working,bills,etc...some boring rutine. Bruce shows a sign of life,a person refusing to grow into a boring rutine, the guy who continues to race in the streets. However this life style leads to a boring rutine life for the girl becaude she is negelcted. The magic is it can all be fixed. Cheers to racing in the streets!!!!
My own take on this song | Reviewer: Alistair
I think this is a very sad song. Like many of Bruce's, it paints a pretty bleak picture of blue-collar America. You work, go home, get cleaned up, then sit dying inside, a little every day. Unless you have an outlet like customising and racing your car, of course.
No-one has noticed why the girl is so unhappy - it's because every night, her man goes out and drives cars, leaving her at home, alone. She has exchanged being in the Camaro with the other guy, which is at least some company, to being home alone while Bruce and Sonny go out racing for cash.
Then, Bruce notices her unhappiness, or maybe realises he can do something about it, and the car becomes the vehicle for their escape. Bruce has written about this in other songs, but in this case I don't think it's a getaway, and certainly never thought of suicide until I read the other comments - I think it's a romantic break to rekindle their love. And hopefully Bruce won't go out driving every night anymore.
It's interesting that we can all have so many interpretations of this song, which shows, to me, that it's a masterful song, that can evoke different things in different people.
Jealousy | Reviewer: Rickster | 2/11/11
Sad "Epty Road" I thought your title of the review shows the part of YOU that Longs to have half the Heart Bruce does and why so many relate to him!!
It seems you were angered that the Boss does try to show there is a road of redemption & Joy through the pain of those confusing years of ones life (as well as the Horror of 9-11 with "The Rising")- I give everyone the "different strokes for Different folks" when it come to the beauty of ALL music -what is the saddest is those that are so transparent in the dislike of an artist alwaye more then meets the eye in their biased ?reviews?
BTW did you ever have a car or that special one that can invoke such emotion of JOY
Dreams are torn | Reviewer: carl | 3/26/09
As small comment of Simon's otherwise great review.
I get the feeling that shares a theme from "the river" of dreams shattered by a reality that was not expected. When the street racer comes home "the house is dark", "all the pretty dreams are torn" and "there are wrinkles around her eyes". A hint of a torn relationship between the two because of two different lives. But there is the possibility of a redemption at the end by them "washing the sins of there backs...".
OK - any smart arse can criticise and I couldn't have written this superb song in a million years. But here are my thoughts:
Springsteen is to be congratulated for writing one of the few rock lyrics about cars that's at least well informed. It's the right rig, with the right mods - it's a shame he doesn't develop an authentic story line to go with that tuned Chevvy 396.
There is the familiar Springsteen melancholy of life in dead-end, rust belt America with the superbly crafted "Some guys they just give up living and start dying little by little, piece by piece..." We can just see him washing the grime off his hands from the autoplant and stepping into his alter ego as a street racer. It whets our appetite for more - but runs quite quickly out of road.
Before it does and the burble of that 396 dies away, there is just a chance of redemption. Another familiar Spingsteenism - the empty hopelessness of a life without meaning - comes tantalisingly into being. We can feel this "little girl's" hopelessness (OK Bruce, we forgive your chauvinism because of who you are, but come on !). I know he's not writing a novel, and songs must evoke rather than explore, but what's all this about ? We see a powerful image of her "on the porch of her daddy's house" but why does she cry herself to sleep at night ? Is Bruce too lazy to give us a hint ?
Perhaps I'm missing the whole point - that there IS no point to this street racing escapism, that while our hero "shuts em up and then shuts em down" the real world along with his closest relationships are disintegrating around him, powerless to respond.
The vacuity of modern urban life, the hopelessness of it all are superbly achieved with both the lyric and the haunting melancholy of the score and vocals. There is something about the juxtaposition of the feelgood idea of racing in the street and the downbeat vocal that reminds me of Under the Boardwalk, the iconic song from a completely different era. So Bruce has by no means got it wrong here.....it's a powerful track. And after all, he's not writing philosophy - it's rock and roll !