“Drive All Night”
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
If Bruce Springsteen’s The River taught us anything, it’s that The Boss is one of the best ballad writers the U.S. has ever known. Glen Hansard of The Frames and Once fame understands this well, having just released his own version of Springsteen’s show-stopper “Drive All Night.” Extending to the original’s nearly 9-minute running time, Hansard’s version has a gorgeous arrangement of its own, his raspy, Springsteen-esque growl backed by acoustic guitar, piano, and sax from the E Street Band’s Jake Clemons. Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder also adds his own backing vocals, lending a bassy counterpoint to Hansard’s own emotional lead, but it’s still very much Hansard that’s the focal point here — channeling the spirit of Springsteen’s original performance. The track is featured on a new EP, titled Drive All Night, which features three original tracks in addition to this one. But Hansard’s performance is strong enough to warrant an entire album’s worth of Boss covers.