Letter to You is a must-see documentary for fans of the Boss, and a should-see documentary for everyone else! The man – and the music- are simply mesmerizing. Perhaps I’m a tad biased, having spent a small fortune pre-pandemic to see Springsteen on Broadway (twice). But I can honestly say I enjoyed this documentary more than the filmed version of the stage show and more than last year’s cinematic filmed version of his melancholy album Western Stars.
Bruce Springsteen’s Letter to You certainly has its share of melancholy and mediative moments, but they are infused with the pure joy of being in a band and making music – particularly rock and roll. I mean, c’mon, the guy is 71 and he’s still rockin’ out with the E Street Band and producing amazing material. Letter to You, from Apple Original Films, is being released simultaneously with the album “Letter to You” and you’d be hard-pressed not to download the album after watching the documentary. The film provides insight and context that enhances your appreciation of every track.
Letter to You is a behind the scenes look at the making of the album and includes final-take performances of 10 original songs. It’s basically Bruce and the E Street Band (Stevie Van Zandt, Patti Scialfa, Max Weinberg, Garry Tallent, Roy Bittan, Nils Lofgren) hanging out in Springsteen’s home studio in New Jersey and making a record that is a loving tribute to Springsteen’s first band The Castiles (1965-1968), to the E Street Band, and to various friends and musicians lost over time.
“Music just comes. Sometimes.,” Springsteen reveals in his trademark raspy voice while describing how the songs for the new album poured out of him as he reflected on how music has shaped his life. Letter to You is Springsteen’s first recording with his full live band in the studio since 1984’s Born in the U.S.A.
The Boss – and the band – have still got it.
Bruce Springsteen’s Letter to You starts streaming on Apple TV+ on October 23rd.