The Promise - Bruce Springsteen
Metascore
94

Universal acclaim - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 17
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 17
  3. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. Dec 23, 2010
    100
    The Promise demonstrates how wide-ranging Springsteen's musical interests and abilities were when he was 27.
  2. Dec 20, 2010
    100
    Ultimately, the official album remains the crucible of the artist who flourishes to this day. [Dec 2010, p.112]
  3. Dec 8, 2010
    100
    The Promise is as compelling an advert for the Boss's beautiful, blue-collar soul as you're likely to find outside of the hits; an indispensible portrait of an artist at the top of his game. File this one under American Greats.
  4. Dec 8, 2010
    100
    Though recorded during the same extended sessions, this archival LP is the polar opposite of its fraternal twin: big, bold, vibrantly coloured and laced with sweeping chorus hooks and towering middle eights. In a word, spectacular.
  5. Dec 8, 2010
    100
    [The Promise's] elegiac tone would have fitted Darkness perfectly, but most of the other 20 previously unreleased tracks demonstrate that Springsteen never actually stopped writing the hook-laden, audience-rousing crackers with which he made his name.
  6. Dec 8, 2010
    100
    The Promise is what got left behind, and the quality of these 21 songs serves to remind the listener how brilliant Darkness On The Edge Of Town really was, and how discerning its craftsmen must have been to leave so much in the dust.
  7. 100
    The Promise album, with gems like the Crystals' homage "Ain't Good Enough for You" and the lilting ballad "Candy's Boy" (a far cry from "Darkness' " aggressively lustful revision "Candy's Room") showcases the danceability, catchiness and even sentimentality Springsteen had to rein in to create "Darkness."
  8. Dec 8, 2010
    92
    The joy of The Promise: The Lost Sessions of Darkness on the Edge of Town for any serious Boss employee is the notable twinkle of notions that would later grow into classic rock staples.
  9. Dec 8, 2010
    90
    The Promise stands on its own as a great Bruce Springsteen record; it feels finished, focused, and, above all, offers more proof that Springsteen is one of the greatest rock and pop songwriters.
  10. Dec 8, 2010
    90
    Long lost treasures from the boss.
  11. Dec 8, 2010
    85
    The Promise is also a good demonstration of how Springsteen mines his unused songs from material, and shows how many ways he tried to record things before figuring out how they worked best.
  12. Dec 8, 2010
    83
    The two-disc The Promise collects 22 leftovers (including "The Way," an excellent unlisted bonus track), none of them previously included on Springsteen's Tracks box set, all of them polished, to one extent or another, in recent years. Some, like "Breakaway" and the title track--a longtime fan favorite previously released only in a version rerecorded in 1999--fit Darkness' themes perfectly.
  13. Jan 4, 2011
    80
    In the end, the artificial pop of The Promise makes it, as a whole, a more realistic album.
  14. Dec 20, 2010
    80
    The Promise itself is a strange thing, less a companion to Darkness than the blueprint for a lost sequel to Born To Run. [Dec 2010, p.118]
  15. Dec 8, 2010
    80
    Keep your sense of perspective and remember that The Promise really is an offcuts record, and you'll find it's a staggeringly good one.
  16. Dec 8, 2010
    80
    While curiosities and lost tracks usually only appeal to the fan who has everything, this album stands as a perfect complement to Springsteen's mid-70s work.
  17. Dec 8, 2010
    70
    The Promise hits a ceiling just below what you'd call essential listening, but it's still more than just a fan-only release. These 22 songs show a band at the height of their powers stretching out and trying new things, indulging in their musical loves to bright and catchy results.
User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 43 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 9
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 9
  3. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. Nov 17, 2010
    10
    This amazing box set is worth it for the full live concert from Houston '78 alone...an absolutely amazing performance showing Bruce & The E Street Band at the height of their powers. Totally scorching. Add in the remastered original album, 2 CDs of unreleased material, the behind-the-scenes documentary, more live/rehearsal footage and the beautiful packaging giving a glimpse into Springsteen's songwriting notebooks and this is a BARGAIN at $80. An absolute must-have for any Springsteen fan.
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    Full Review »
  2. Feb 23, 2011
    10
    Bruce Springsteenâ
  3. Jan 29, 2011
    9
    Only a living legend like Springsteen can keep a bunch of songs in his attic for 30 years, and then manage to take you along for a brilliant, timeless, and wonderfully nostalgic ride. He is The Boss for good reason. Full Review »