CD Reviews

Bruce Springsteen – Wrecking Ball

Bruce Springsteen - Wrecking Ball

The Boss and band have rolled up their sleeves and broken out the blood, sweat and tears with Wrecking Ball, a shout-out to elbow grease and finger-pointing in the direction of what has come to be known as the 1%. Original album blueprints outlined a folky, stripped down guy-and-guitar offering, but it turns out that Springsteen and the E-Street Band turned the amps up after all, in what’s being hailed as Bruce’s call to arms. Opening with lead single We Take Care of Our Own, The Boss rhythmically rallies the working man, returning to the callouses and dirty knees of Born in the U.S.A. There are plenty of characters woven in here, as Easy Money leans towards a 2012 Bonnie and Clyde, committed to surviving at all costs, while Jack of All Trades brings it on home to a waltzing work ethic, and the tired yet undying love of a hard-working man. Through the chain gang trudge of Shackled and Drawn and Death To My Hometown, Springsteen sets the labored pace of muscle and determination, accompanied by a Celtic folklore feel. While this line-up is something of a melting pot of sounds, Wrecking Ball remains thematic, covering impressive ground when it comes to genre and feel – from the predictable, reliable heartland rocker to the gospel/hip hop force of Rocky Ground (perhaps the strangest fit on this album). Somehow the ragtag crew atmosphere works on this brow-mopper of a record, which includes one of the beloved Clarence Clemons’ last sax offerings recorded prior to his death in June of 2011, on Land of Hope and Dreams. With Wrecking Ball, The Boss has done it again. He will do it again. He’s Bruce Springsteen, and that’s just how he rocks. He’s willing to bring it all down to the bare bones and boards of what the people are living, and marshall America into renewed energy to pick itself up, dust itself off and keep going.

Sheila Quinn

Key Tracks: We Take Care of Our Own, Shackled and Drawn, Land of Hope and Dreams

Moods: Earnest, Cathartic, Earthy, Poignant, Bittersweet

Buy: Wrecking Ball