Most of the things I've seen written about Bruce Springsteen's new CD mention that it's in the same vein as Nebraska and The Ghost of Tom Joad. There's probably a significant fraction of Springsteen fans for whom that directly translates into: "this album sucks."
Well, it's not that bad. Really. There are some decent (non-E Street) musicians that back up Bruce's guitar, harmonica, and vocals. And there's some variety in the songs; I always thought the main problems with Nebraska and Joad were the songs were nearly indistinguishable from each other.
But if you're looking for something like Rosalita or Born to Run, it's not here. Most of the songs are bleak and depressing. (There's DVD video included of Bruce singing his bleak and depressing songs with just his bleak guitar and depressing harmonica in a bleak and depressing farmhouse. Just the thing for your next party.)
Aside: Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes did one of these songs ("All The Way Home") back in 1991 on the Better Days album. Listen to both versions, if you can. See if you wonder, like me: how is it possible for Springsteen to screw up his own song this badly?
(Proposed general rule: Southside Johnny's version of any song is usually better than other versions. He's an under-appreciated genius.)