Sparks Fly On E Street: Bruce Springsteen, “Mary’s Place” (2002)

Dropping “Waitin’ On A Sunny Day” from consideration, “Mary’s Place” is the worst song Bruce has done since … oh, take your pick: Lonesome Day, Man’s Job, Wild Billy’s Circus Story. For every “fun” song, there’s a hater (though scientifically, that statement can be reduced to: “For every Bruce song, there is a hater.”)

The other complaint frequently lodged against the song is that it is “Rosalita-lite,” trying too hard to become the next E Street anthem. I see where this line of reasoning comes from but, if followed to its logical conclusion, Springsteen would be forever banned from writing any song that resembled an anthem.

OK, sure…sometimes (maybe every time) the song took up too much space during The Rising shows. And while given a choice, I would have swapped it out for “Rosalita” on any given night (I’ve been chasing Rosie since my first show in 1981), it never really felt like lite-anything. Bruce wanted to put a positive spin on things and I thought it was quite effective, especially when it kicked off with “I got seven pictures of Buddha…”

Next up: You’re Missing

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Mark Saleski

Mark Saleski is a writer and music obsessive based out of the woods of central New Hampshire. A past contributor to Jazz.com, Blogcritics.org and Salon, he writes several weekly features including the Friday Morning Listen, (Cross the) Heartland, WTF! Wednesday, and Sparks Fly on E Street. Follow him on Twitter: @msaleski. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.