Bruce Springsteen
Wrecking Ball



by oldaboriginee USER (3 Reviews)
March 18th, 2012 | 12 replies

Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "Where's the promise from sea to shining sea ?"

The last thirteen years have been kind to Bruce Springsteen. Since reforming the E Street Band after the largely unproductive 1990s he has gone from strength to strength, producing some of his finest work both musically and lyrically. Wrecking Ball continues this trend into a new decade and, like previous records such as Nebraska and The Rising, sees The Boss analysing the consequences of recent events on his country- namely the current recession.

Despite its dark and sombre subject matter Springsteen avoids the subdued acoustic sound of The Ghost Of Tom Joad and Nebraska. Instead the album combines the riotous energy of his Seeger Sessions folk covers album with the repressed rage of 1978’s Darkness On The Edge Of Town. This combination is brilliantly demonstrated by the record’s opening tracks.

We Take Care Of Our Own kicks off the album with huge drums and reverb-laden guitar before being joined by triumphant violins and strummed acoustic guitars whilst Bruce rages against the loss of “the promise from sea to shining sea”.

Easy Money continues in this vain telling the story of a man being forced to desperate, violent methods by the “fat cats” in charge. Whereas, lyrically, this song may bear similarities to Johnny 99 off Nebraska, musically it is an epic folk rocker complete with sing-along “whoas”.

However, the record is not entirely made up of up-tempo folk tunes. Rocky Ground and This Depression both utilise modern sounding productions to provide a mournful backdrop for Springsteen’s tales of struggle and desperation whilst the album closer We Are Alive channels the spirits of Woody Guthrie and Johnny Cash into an uplifting ode to solidarity during hard times.

Indisputably the record’s highlights for me were the title track and the epic Land Of Hope And Dreams. Wrecking Ball begins with Springsteen singing over a single strummed guitar before exploding into a euphoric, up-tempo rocker which suggests that Springsteen has taken inspiration from his modern followers such as Arcade Fire and The Gaslight Anthem. His defiant cry of “hold on to your anger and don’t fall to your fear” that brings in the final chorus is already a contender for my greatest musical moment of the year

Land Of Hope and Dreams is the studio recording of a track that originally appeared on Springsteen’s Live in New York album. Here he uses electronic beats and a choir (in addition to a saxophone solo recorded by Clarence ‘Big Man’ Clemons shortly before his death) to create an emotional gospel- tinged anthem which sounds like a cross between Thunder Road and a church hymm and provides an optimistic counterweight to the anger of the rest of the record.

Wrecking Ball can easily stand with Springsteen’s best albums. He has succeeded in captured the rage felt by many towards Wall Street and the current economic situation that has led to widespread protest and defiance. A sentiment brilliantly summarised by the downtrodden narrator of Jack Of All Trades who states “ If I had a gun, I’d shoot the bastards on sight”.

user ratings (228)
other reviews of this album
"Hold tight to your anger, don't fall to your fears"...

Comments:Add a Comment 
March 18th 2012


Album Rating: 4.5

Ah, sorry about using the same summary as Ali. Anybody know how to edit it ?

March 18th 2012


Album Rating: 4.5

Got it

March 18th 2012


Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Fantastic review, man. Great great writing.

As a minor nibble, some of these paragraphs could be lumped together, but that's just nitpicking.

I didn't think this could classify as one of Springsteen's best albums, though.

March 18th 2012


Good review, the one thing I would change is "indisputably...for me..." , feels a little contradictory. Other than that the review is good, I agree that this album is top notch, and that "the album combines the riotous energy of his Seeger Sessions folk covers album with the repressed rage of 1978’s Darkness On The Edge Of Town." Pos

Contributing Reviewer
March 18th 2012


Album Rating: 4.0

Good review man, though I agree with the other guy's comments.

I really like this.

March 18th 2012


Album Rating: 4.0

good review, psyched to hear this. downloading now

March 18th 2012


I'd say this is his best album in awhile but everything he puts out is solid

March 18th 2012


Album Rating: 4.0

Seeing him a week from tomorrow and he never disappoints. This really is so solid!

March 18th 2012


Incredible album, one of Springsteen's best for sure. Especially with "We Take Care of Our Own", I've had this song on repeat for the past month! Check out his new music video

March 19th 2012


Album Rating: 4.5

excellent review. its nice to read reviews where the author understands the history of the artist, and where the music / songs come from. from Nebraska to The Rising, to Magic, and now to this. his ability to articulate the times we live in so well amazes. who else could have made an entire album about and inspired by 9/11 and not been accused of callous exploitation? no artist on earth would even approached it so soon after the event. yet, there it was. an album full of heartbreak and hope in the face of despair. and songs for the people who experience it....personally. its a beautiful thing

Nebraska. Joad, Seeger...musically yeah, its all there. and thats fine. its Bruce. and everyone knows he loved doing Seeger. probably even more these days then E-Street. and now he's even worked that in! which certainly will bring some much needed swing (not swing music you know what i mean lol) to the Boss's recent stage work. good as he is he is getting older (yikes) and has grown a bit stiff in performance and makes up for it in bombast and seemingly pointing at people a lot lol. but now with this new album and his new e street band he'll get to swing like the old cat he is =]

this shit is gonna be good

he better be sort of fun on tour and not all angry like the first leg of the Magic tour

this guy rocks. your review rocks, as well =]

March 19th 2012


Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks for all the awesome feedback guys !

After listening to the album again I definitely think it can stand alongside (well maybe a little bit behind, haha) Born, To Run, Darkness, Nebraska, The Wild, The Innocent and The E- Street Band and The Rising as his best albums.

March 20th 2012


Album Rating: 4.5

i've been reading some negative reaction to this album from fans. seems some are bothered by the "politics" of the album, but those are really very few. most are just bothered by this, were bothered by the Seeger Sessions, weren't crazy about Magic, and certainly not Working On A Dream. some say its bombast, others say musically disposable. mediocre songwriting, etc. i can understand having an opinion, but not those who say bruce has "lost it" and keep pining for a return to Darkness On The Edge Of Town. that was 35 years ago ffs

i don't see this album as political. its something of a protest record in the traditional sense. evoking social movements of the past and those who played a part. tying that into today. and mostly how the very lowest among us are being affected by the politics and economics and the powers that be. this is what bruce has always done. but him becoming so outspoken politically tainted his message for some

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