Friday, October 16, 2020

Bruce Springsteen's Letter to You Review: A Well Produced Concert Disguised As A Recording Session

Release date: October 23, 2020
Running time: 86 minutes
Starring: Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band

“Bruce Springsteen’s Letter to You” captures Bruce Springsteen recording his new album “Letter To You” live with the full E Street Band, and includes final take performances of 10 originals from the new record. The feature-length documentary features full performances from the E Street Band, in-studio footage, never-before-seen archival material, and a deeper look into “Letter To You” from Springsteen himself. Written by Springsteen and directed by Thom Zimny, the film is a tribute to the E Street Band, to rock music itself, and to the role it has played in Springsteen's life.

Letter to You has a really interesting style. The film is all in black and white and starts with some beautiful shots of the woods around where the film was recorded.  I kept waiting for it to change to color but it keeps the aesthetic going.  I think it lends an air of age and calm to the whole setting to have it in black and white and it also lets you focus on the music itself.  Letter to You is basically a concert by Springsteen and his band, with stories about the band and inspirations for the songs before each is played.  Since it is Springsteen, the music is very good.  If you like Springsteen, you will like this music as it has his trademark folk and rock style with strong lyrics.  And make sure you watch this with a good sound system as it really sounds wonderful.

However, this is really a documentary for fans of the Boss.  I appreciate his music but I am not a die hard fan, so it really just felt like an interesting way for Springsteen to highlight his new album.  The songs were good and the experience was enjoyable, but it just didn't hit for me because I haven't followed him.  The stories he told didn't resonate with me and some of the explanations for the influences of the songs felt a little convoluted.  But that being said, if you are a fan of this legendary musician, you will be in heaven with Letter to You.  

Bruce Springsteen's Letter to You will make any fan happy with its great music and insightful stories about the Boss and his music. 

Rent it.

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Bruce Springsteen: Letter to You is available to stream on Apple TV+ starting October 23.

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