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Ever since Springsteen burst on the music scene in the 1970s, his work has focused not on the people who sign the paychecks but on the guys and gals who have to make them stretch for a whole week. If in recent years Springsteen had lost touch with his proletarian passions, he's rediscovered them with "The Ghost of Tom Joad," a new collection of songs about desperate lives along the Mexican border. "This album has the power to haunt," says TIME's Christopher John Farley. "Springsteen's sound, which is somewhere between his stark 'Nebraska' album and his serenely wrenching hit 'Streets of Philadelphia, is spare, featuring little instrumentation beyond an acoustic guitar, a harmonica and a keyboard."