HE is as much a symbol of wholesome, hard-grafting American values as a Norman Rockwell illustration, but his latest album and tour, Wrecking Ball, distills as much fear, rage and hurt at the battered state of his nation as he ever has.
The songs find Wall Street shysters rubbing shoulders with petty criminals, with duckers and divers, with robber barons, and with couples whose bonds are on the brink of breaking because of financial woes.
Bruce said, on the disc's release, "You can never go wrong with being pissed off in rock 'n' roll.
"My work has always been about judging the distance between American reality and the American Dream — how far is that at any given moment."
That said, the live shows are still shot through with that warm, celebratory, heartfelt camaraderie you expect from The Boss and this year's tour is getting the kind of uproarious reception Bruce's shows always get.
He heads to Cardiff on Tuesday to blaze through the most savage, poetic, heartsore songs, turning out music that has been distilled to its thrilling essentials, alongside the greatest band on earth.
Bruce, Miami Steve Van Zandt, Nils Lofgren and the rest of the crew — including Mrs Springsteen, Patti Scialfa — look and act like a street gang from the stoops of New Jersey, with all of the rough bonhomie and secret codes learned over years of friendship.
Bruce's status as the patron saint of the working man, with that ultra-macho image, throws into sharp relief the tenderness and beauty of his songs.
And by all accounts of the Wrecking Ball tour so far, the format has been a loose one, with The Boss taking requests from the floor and polishing up number that don't often get a live airing, like Lucky Town.
I'm hoping the weather will coax him to opt for Girls In Their Summer Clothes and Pretty Flamingo too, which made for a gorgeous encore at the last Bruce show I saw, not to mention Jungleland, which played out like the greatest street musical Leonard Bernstein never wrote, coiled into four minutes of sweaty, heated tension and tenderness.
His show will, of course, be lacking his long-time wingman and spiritual brother Clarence Clemons.
The saxophone legend died in 2011 and he leaves a massive gap on the stage which The Boss recognised no one else could fill.
Instead the E Street Band is augmented by a brass section that now includes Clemons' nephew Jake, to provide the saxophone grunt that was the Minister of Soul's trademark and so synonymous with Springsteen.
Once seen never forgotten, the faithful know to expect the unexpected, a loose playlist threaded through with personal touches — he reprised the whole Born to Run album at the Coventry gig to mark the passing of actor James Gandolfini, another son of Jersey — and for the uninitiated first-timers a baptism of fire awaits!