Moa Holmsten tackles ‘The Boss’ on sublime new album ‘Bruised Arms & Broken Rhythm’

Moa‘Bruised Arms & Broken Rhythm’
Moa Holmsten (Fill in the Blanks)
4 stars out of 5

Growing up in Sweden, Moa Holmsten was not a big Bruce Springsteen fan. So it might seem strange that the former frontwoman for metal outfit Meldrum would cobble together an entire album of Springsteen covers. Yet “Bruised Arms & Broken Rhythm” is an absolute delight from beginning to end, with Holmsten breathing new life into 15 songs penned by “The Boss.”

Moa CD“(Producer Tony Naima and I) have always respected Springsteen … but I believe the fact that we are not intense and longtime followers of his work has been essential from the beginning,” Holmsten explains. “We could discover new songs and re-discover older ones, and work on them with a unique perspective. We could be brave and courageous, while not letting old emotions or presumed expectations stand in our way.”

The project started with a nearly unrecognizable — but flat-out terrific — rendition of “Badlands” and Holmsten and Naima enjoyed the process so much, they just kept going. Among the other highlights of the 63-minute set are readings of “Dancing in the Dark,” “Born to Run,” “State Trooper,” “Incident on 57th Street,” “Streets of Fire” and “Tougher Than the Rest.” This one merits some attention, folks. (Jeffrey Sisk)

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