Sunday, May 29, 2005

Detail of the day

Even Springsteen records that aren't of the top rank reveal more and more from repeated listenings. Most people won't get to "Matamoros Banks," the last song on the album, since Devils & Dust is destined to be one of those records that earns a great deal of respect but not that many listenings. Anyway, in the first verse of the song, Springsteen's dead narrator mentions that his eyes are "open to the stars," because "turtles eat the skin from your eyes." It's a wild detail that gives the story weight -- and I have no idea whether it's physically true. The song's lyric has a going-backward-in-time gimmick that doesn't quite come off, but the image of the dead man with his eyes exposed to the sky will stay with this listener for a long time.