Bruce Springsteen obviously had a lot to say on his debut album (I don't think he ever wrote songs this long on any of his subsequent albums), but don't expect anything like "The River" or "Born In The USA" on this one.
"Greetings From Asbury Park, New Jersey" contains several fine songs, such as "Blinded By The Light", the Dylan-inspired "Growin' Up" and "Lost In The Flood", but the truly strong melodies are few and far between. Most of the lyrics are great, sure, but the music isn't always.
There is definitely something appealing about Springsteen yelling out his exuberant lyrics with barely any kind of recognizable melody, but it wears out a little bit after a while. Just listen to "Mary Queen Of Arkansas" - classic, strong Springsteen lyrics, not a hint of an actual tune.
Some fans and critics accused Bruce Springsteen of selling out when he released "The River". They felt that he had "gone pop" with songs like "Hungry Heart" and "Cadillac Ranch".
Well, compared to this album "The River" certainly is more of a pop album, if tunefulness equals pop that is.
A bit more pop would have been kinda nice, actually.