When the 9/11 attacks brought down the Twin Towers, shattering the nation and the lives of so many on Springsteen's home turf, he had to respond. The result was an extraordinary 15-song requiem that searched for meaning in the inexplicable tragedy while saluting the grace and courage of the dead and those who mourn them. Songs like "Into the Fire" were starkly beautiful short stories, but it was the sound of the record — the almighty roar of the E Street Band, captured by producer Brendan O'Brien — that lifted the songs skyward. The Rising was the first E Street album since the Eighties and kicked off Springsteen's history-making creative resurgence.
• Rolling Stone's Original 2002 Review