Bruce Springsteen, the poet laureate of 9/11.

Pop, jazz, and classical.
Aug. 6 2002 6:00 PM

The Poet Laureate of 9/11

Apocalypse and salvation on Springsteen's new album.

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But rock 'n' roll is not all about grief and terror, and the song that has lodged most firmly in my head is "Mary's Place," an effusion of joy that comes two-thirds of the way through The Rising. Here, Clarence Clemons' saxophone, overshadowed on much of the album by Soozie Tyrell's violin, at last cuts loose, and the way the band stops short before plunging into the chorus is an E Street moment of pure (though highly disciplined) release the likes of which have not been heard on record for 20 years. "Meet me at Mary's place." I'll be there, Boss.

A.O. Scott is a film critic at the New York Times.

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