A review of Geoff Himes’ book in Baltimore magazine, by John Lewis:
Born in the USA (Continuum)
If you’ve ever longed for in-depth, book-length analysis of seminal pop recordings, Continuum’s 33 1/3 series is for you. Pairing expert writers with classic discs—from blockbusters such as Abba Gold and The Beatles Let It Be to obscurities such as Neutral Milk Hotel’s In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, it covers a lot of ground. Baltimore contributor and noted music writer Geoffrey Himes tackles Bruce Springsteen’s Born In the USA with thoroughly insightful results. Rather than simply analyzing the disc’s tunes, Himes also looks at the three-year period leading up to its release, a time when Springsteen was, arguably, at his creative peak. He wades through the hype and hyperbole surrounding Springsteen’s most commercially successful disc to get at the humanity and emotion at its core. And Himes’s spot-on interpretation of the title track should be required reading for any politico still tempted to misrepresent the song (as Ronald Reagan and others have done) as a patriotic campaign jingle.