The Promise is a collection of outtakes from the Darkness on the Edge of Town sessions, which were released in 2010, with some overdubs and one entirely new recording. The resulting album is different in tone from Darkness – lacking the intensity of those songs, it’s more rooted in R&B and 1960s pop, and it was a wise decision to withhold this lighter for a separate project.
Considering that some material from the era already was released on the outtake collection Tracks, it’s amazing that Springsteen had enough material for another two disc set. Some of these songs were donated to other artists – ‘Because The Night’ was a hit for Patti Smith and ‘Fire’ for The Pointer Sisters. There aren’t many lost classics on The Promise, but there are an abundance of great sounding and solidly written vintage Springsteen songs. Highlights include a full band version of the title track, the Springsteen take on ‘Because The Night’, and ‘Candy’s Boy’, a companion to ‘Candy’s Room’ from Darkness.
Some of the blue eyed soul and 1960s influenced pop does blend together, but The Promise is still an amazingly solid collection of outtakes, given how long it stayed in the archives.