From the squalling guitars in "Radio Nowhere" to the true patriotism in "Long Walk Home," Magic was about life during a wartime built on lies. The returning vet in "Gypsy Biker" arrived in a coffin; "Last to Die" crackled like "Thunder Road" headed for a cliff ("Who will be the last to die for a mistake?"). But for every shiver of fear, Springsteen and his reunited E Street Band defiantly gunned their Seventies party power, mixing echoes of the Beach Boys and Born to Run in "Girls in Their Summer Clothes" and "Livin' in the Future." The implied message on those tracks: Sometimes it's worth proving that the devils aren't calling all the tunes.
• Rolling Stone's Original 2007 Review