Recorded in his home studio after he’d cut Human Touch in the big studios, Lucky Town is lighter in delivery but no less committed in its tone. By releasing both albums at the same time, he blunted the initial impact of each. Taken separately, each has a clear identity and highlights to enjoy. “Better Days” is a trudging rocker with a fierce core of determinism. “Lucky Town” takes Springsteen’s personal unease and partners it with a bright, striving arrangement. “If I Should Fall Behind” is the kind of deeply romantic, touching ballad that Bruce can deliver without lapsing into banal sentimentalism. “Leap of Faith” is the sort of rousing number for which he’s best known. Without The E Street Band backing him (Bruce played all the instruments himself, except drums), the sound is slightly skewered, flat, and direct, whereas his old friends would find nooks to fill with their joy. “Souls of the Departed” is among the darkest songs Springsteen has cut, from its ominous guitar licks to lyrics that tell of the violence lurking outside gated communities, as youths put their lives on the line.