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CRITIC REVIEWS

100
A.V. Club
It’s a musical transfiguration that never stops being impressive, no matter how many times he’s pulled it off through the decades.
100
The Telegraph

Springsteen remains the gold standard in rock and roll, a singer-songwriter who never gives less than everything. Letter To You is another first-class missive from the Boss, signed, sealed and delivered with love.

100
NME
A powerful synthesis of past and present, ‘Letter To You’ shows us the strength that can be found in sorrow. The result is Springsteen’s finest album since 2002’s ‘The Rising’.
100
The Independent

For those missing the electricity of live music, the seasoned connectivity Letter to You delivers something very close.

90
Uncut
The boss looks backward and strides ahead.
90
AllMusic

This shared warmth carries Letter to You through the moments where the younger Bruce is perhaps a bit too precious and the older Springsteen is a bit too clear, turning a record that's a meditation on mortality into a celebration of what it means to be alive in the moment.

90
Classic Rock

With its skilful weave of widescreen balladry and heartland rock, the record works as a reflective autumn-years version of The River, and its roots in the past are sunk even further.

90
Paste

Springsteen’s songwriting here ranks among his best ever, yet Letter to You is also a continual reminder of how good his band is.

90
God Is in the TV

The fact that this is an excellent album even by Springsteen’s own high standards is reason for celebration.

83
Consequence of Sound

If Letter to You was the swan song, if there were no more Springsteen albums after this one, this would be a mighty fine way to go out.

80
Rolling Stone
Recorded in just a few days with the E Street Band, this is one of the most personal statements of Springsteen’s career.
80
Gigwise

Letters To You is a typical Springsteen album in the sense that it contains the same call-to-arms rock tracks that any listener would come to expect on an album from The Boss but this collection carries a greater weight.

80
musicOMH

Letter To You provides both a moving thematic adjunct to Springsteen On Broadway and a timely and welcome burst of the sheer euphoria that only the E Street Band can inject.

80
Clash
As a whole, ‘Letter To You’ is a wonderfully warm experience, perhaps Springsteen’s most human for some time.
80
Mojo

Ultimately, what redeems Letter To You from notions of idealised nostalgia is the rigour of its performances, particularly those of Springsteen himself, who for the second successive album is in the singing form of his life.

80
American Songwriter
His songwriting brilliance lies in adding just enough conflict or tension, just enough juxtaposition of details, so we can simultaneously strap in beside him as he launches his memory’s time machine, and keep a foot anchored in the present — such as it is.
80
Spill Magazine

Despite remaining stuck in the mid-tempo gear, Letter To You stands as a latter career highpoint for The Boss and demonstrates the value of his collaboration with The E Street Band.

80
Exclaim!
We need this reminder about the spirit that galvanizes us and the spark that first got us into music, as both performers and fans.
80
The Sydney Morning Herald

There is honesty, rawness and a sense of spirituality at the heart of Letter To You.

75
The Line of Best Fit

Letter to You doesn’t try to fight fire with fire so much as give us all of the water we need to help us extinguish the blaze raging rampant and orange outside our windows.

75
Beats Per Minute

The results are filled with the verve, energy and urgency that his more recent output has been sorely lacking, and although it doesn’t hit the heights of his creative zenith ... there is still plenty of life left in the old dog just yet.

74
Pitchfork
The songs are occasionally great—“Ghosts” and “Burnin’ Train,” in particular—and sometimes they feel remarkable just due to their old-school presentation.
73
Spectrum Culture

It's too early to tell if Letter to You will stand as a landmark Springsteen release, but Springsteen knows exactly what he wants to say and who can help him say it.

70
Slant Magazine
Springsteen deserves credit for resisting the crowd-pleasing tug of this kind of album for so long that it feels like a warm homecoming rather than a retread.
70
FLOOD Magazine

The new album doesn’t lack in personal, elegiac, or sentimental storytelling—in that regard, Letter to You embraces some of Springsteen’s most intimately idiosyncratic lyrics.

70
The Young Folks
Mostly he’s in fine form, confronting the spectre of death with an undiminished earnest intensity in his vocals, whilst rarely getting too dewy-eyed over all of his nostalgic reminiscences.
70
No Ripcord

Looking back is a central feature of Springsteen’s very good twentieth studio album, Letter to You. The moral of the story is to never doubt The Boss, I guess.

60
The Guardian

Letter to You is not an album to snare new listeners, compounded by the fact that it contains a lot of good songs but no spectacular breakout hit.

60
The Arts Desk

There's a sense in which this is more of the same – not because Springsteen and his friends can’t be bothered, but because they have always celebrated something of the heart and soul that's made America great.

60
Albumism

Most of the early albums, as well as latter-day efforts like Magic, Western Stars, and The Rising (2002) build a sense of searching and finding, or some sense of narrative or sonic propulsion. With these doldrums in the center of Letter To You, it’s difficult to feel a great sense of purpose from one track to the next.

60
Record Collector

It’s a strange mix of songs, which could possibly have worked better across two albums, as they veer between polished stadium numbers and melancholy reflections.

zachthesnack
55
Shoutout to the critics for sucking off people like Bruce and Bob Dylan at every turn, no matter what they put out.

I’m not saying this is bad, I’m just saying.
LarryDavid
85
Nah Bruce actually the goat
Muratka
78
🤠🤠🤠🤠🤠🤠🤠🤠🤠🤠🤠🤠🤠🤠🤠
lucacdornelles
90
Bruce really isn't joking, he did my AOTY for the second consecutive year. Well, if you read about 'Letter to You' someplace else, you know how it went: he got together with the E Street Band at his home in November 2019, and they all took about 4 days to record everything, on the 5th they mostly listened to the whole thing. It was recorded live in the studio, so you won't find overdubs and many contemporary techniques, despite the sound per se isn't revolutionary compared to his previous ... read more
Valeyard
59
My God it was dragging like Ferrari in F1
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Year End Lists

#20/Uncut
#45/MOJO

Track List

  1. One Minute You’re Here
  2. Letter To You
  3. Burnin’ Train
  4. Janey Needs A Shooter
  5. Last Man Standing
  6. The Power Of Prayer
  7. House Of A Thousand Guitars
  8. Rainmaker
  9. If I Was The Priest
  10. Ghosts
  11. Song For Orphans
  12. I’ll See You In My Dreams
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Added on: September 9, 2020