Magic

  • Record Label: Sony
  • Release Date: Oct 2, 2007
Metascore
73

Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 37
  2. Negative: 1 out of 37
  1. Magic is bright and punchy, a digital-age production through and through, right down to how each track feels as if it were crafted according to its own needs instead of the record as a whole.
  2. An album that resumes the glorious "Born in the USA" daze, of lighthearted girls on summer bicycles, and that hard guitar-and-sax sound.
  3. If Magic revisits the subject matter of previous career crests, it unfortunately recalls "The Rising" in its sound: Brendan O'Brien returns to the producer's seat, once again shuffling most of the E Street Band to the music's margins and focusing his attention squarely on the Boss.
  4. 80
    It trades in giddying, irresistible, full-steam-ahead-and-damn-the-torpedoes rock'n'roll. But at its heart, it's essentially a thoughtful wander in search of personal and national innocence.
  5. Q Magazine
    60
    Magic's problem is that the two Bruces don't sit together comfortably. [Nov 2007, p.132]
  6. Mojo
    100
    The immediately obvious aspect of Magic is there hasn't been such a musically dramatic Springsteen album since "Born In The USA;" and like that album, this is a State of the Union address disguised as a pop record. [Nov 2007, p.88]
  7. Magic is, in one way, the most openly nostalgic record Springsteen has ever made.
  8. Magic is a strong record, riddled with sad emotion yet a noble intent to carry on.
  9. Six years on he sounds like a man not getting nearly enough cuddles.
  10. Producer Brendan O'Brien expands the band's basic sound, applying a contemporary gloss that may not always be to the music's advantage, since it permits only occasional unobstructed glimpses of the individual musicians.
  11. Magic's songs tend to be as small in ambition as they are big in sound.
  12. Spin
    70
    More classic-sounding raveups like 'Last to Die'and 'Livin' in the Future'--a perfect hybrid of 'Tenth Avenue Freeze-out' and 'Cover Me'--work on their own merits, but we already know what these merits are. [Nov 2007, p.122]
  13. Entertainment Weekly
    100
    Magic, his best record since "The River" in 1980. [5 Oct 2007, p.68]
  14. Magic doesn’t break any new sonic ground for Springsteen, but no one was calling for a reinvention. Magic offers what Bruce Springsteen does best: a handful of honest, hard-working tracks about life and how we live it.
  15. Setting a song called 'Livin' In The Future' to the tune of 'Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out' indicates that Springsteen's sense of humour may be returning, but the fact that Miami Steve didn't tell him 'Girls In Their Summer Clothes' sounds a little too much like 'The Kids Are Alright' suggests it's not quite back to the good old days yet.
  16. Magic is a sturdy, sure-footed Bruce Springsteen album.
  17. I'll grant you that Magic is uneven, but I cannot admit that it is anything other than constantly captivating.
  18. Truly, the heavy strings and pasteurization O'Brien has effected on the last few Springsteen albums--"The Rising," "Devil's & Dust," and now Magic, the Boss's reported return to form with the amorphous E-Street Band--has robbed Springsteen of his still-youthful energy and blue-collar credentials, something that has always been key to the believability of his sometimes overly corny manner.
  19. This may be his best rock record since "Born In The USA" (I think I prefer "Lucky Town"), but that’s not saying much. Frankly I suspect his heart is in the quiet acoustic stuff, but it’s still great to hear him pick up the old Esquire once in a while.
  20. As on much of Magic, Springsteen leaves the interpretive driving up to the fan, offering his most straightforward rock music in years.
  21. Blender
    80
    His rage is mostly disguised within the most anthemic music he's made since the '80s. [Nov 2007, p.143]
  22. Magic is, musically, one of the most upbeat, accessible records he has made, even as its themes and stories make it one of his most political.
  23. Magic manages to creep into a flat din, and tact is lost to nostalgia.
  24. A sleek machine that's practically pleading to be taken out on the highway.
  25. It stands well alongside any classic Springsteen record you can mention.
  26. Sometimes it's almost too much "classic Springsteen"; too many songs seem like retreads.
  27. Little on Magic outright falters, which is why it's hard at first to explain how unappealing it is.
  28. It's the way Springsteen injects his American bible stories with the air of disbelief that makes Magic a truly mature and memorable album.
  29. Magic succeeds magnificently because it is the perfect balance of what we’ve come to love about an artist while venturing out to try new things.
  30. 30
    All of these lyrics have already been said before and said more creatively, but what’s even worse is that they’ve all been said by him more creatively.
  31. Chalk up at least some of this disconnect to Brendan O’Brien’s production, which is often so slicked down and smooshed together that it doesn’t just airbrush the band’s jagged edges, it sandblasts them.
  32. Magic, a maddeningly uneven record that often sounds like legends coasting, most apparently on 'Living in the Future' and 'Last to Die.'
  33. Magic is a record aimed squarely at radio, stadiums, open car windows and the solar plexus of guys who don't notice passing musical fashion. Magic sounds big. And it sounds great.
  34. Springsteen's latest is very good, and a handful of tunes approach the level of urgency and raw desperation that made his earlier music so compelling.
  35. Credit producer Brendan O'Brien for the wall of sound that backs 'Girls in Their Summer Clothes,' which sets the atmosphere for one of the great vocal performances by Springsteen.
  36. Though his voice is strong and sincere throughout the album, most of the material has a certain karaoke-like vibe.
User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 113 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 72 out of 81
  2. Negative: 3 out of 81
  1. Oct 17, 2016
    10
    A definitive great follow-up for The Rising (2002), from Bruce & The E Street Band...

    A Little Underrated come-on this album deserves a
    A definitive great follow-up for The Rising (2002), from Bruce & The E Street Band...

    A Little Underrated come-on this album deserves a better percentage than Wrecking Ball (2012) that are a very disappointing album from the boss at least in the melodies
    Full Review »
  2. Apr 4, 2016
    10
    ...................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................MasterPiece Full Review »
  3. Apr 2, 2016
    10
    ................................................................................................................Have 73% 5% less than Wrecking................................................................................................................Have 73% 5% less than Wrecking Ball (2012) is bull **** this album is over and over superior Magic (2007) is a Masterpiece!!!!!!!! Full Review »