Tunnel of Love
The followup to the mega-platinum Born in the U.S.A., Tunnel of Love is a brilliant, bittersweet meditation on love and life in the shadow of success. Springsteen had spent the previous years touring and basking in the adoration of fans worldwide, only to come home to face his own identity crisis. It begins a cappella with a rockabilly kick in "Ain't Got You." From there, the music slowly opens up, minimally arranged, with bandmates brought in as needed. There is none of the furious rock 'n' roll punch of his most popular work. Instead, keyboards and acoustic guitars usher in somber tones as Springsteen reflects: "Tougher Than the Rest," "Cautious Man," "Walk Like A Man." Each tune is imbued with a foreboding sense that all is not right. The dark clouds surrounding this album alongside Springsteen's unflinching and honest insights make this one of his most underrated and rewarding albums.