Album Review: Wrecking Ball by Bruce Springsteen
Dont make Bruce angry! You wouldn’t like him when he’s angry! Actually, yeah you probably would, I know I do. When The Boss is all riled up about something, thats when you hear the passion just burst out of his music with ferocity. On album number seventeen the new Jersey native has a lot to get off his chest and it really does make for a truly heartfelt and compelling listen.
Next year marks forty years since the release of Springsteen’s debut Greetings From Asbury Park, thats a long time for any artist to be in the game for sure. This alone might have some people thinking that the torch he has carried all these years might be finally dying out. But if anything Wrecking Ball reignites the fire within and strangely enough Bruce Springsteen might be more relevant now than he has ever been. With the recent occupation of streets and protests orchestrated by the everyday man against the company fat cats, it would seem the world needs a working class hero more than it ever has.
It’s evident when you listen to the lyrics on Wrecking Ball and the manner in which many songs are presented that Bruce has been taking in whats been happening around the world. Furthermore he has tapped into that feeling of the common man fighting for justice and finding little victories along the way. In doing so he has found a really solid and relatable way to talk to his audience, it’s this factor which really excels and pushes the quality of the album. It’s akin to giving a very talented and gifted writer some really great source material to work with. But further than that is his previous history and authenticity, Bruce Springsteen is a hugely successful musician who is no doubt a man who dosent have to worry about money. Yet the way he presents himself and the material on Wrecking Ball, leaves you totally buying into his empathy and never questioning it for a minute.
But this isn’t just a protest record from a man thats as American as blue jeans and church on sunday. It’s an album bursting with heart and soul, gratitude, pride and optimism. Fuelled by blues, celtic folk, bluegrass and of course good old fashioned rock n roll Wrecking Ball is a feel good record that belongs in every jukebox in every bar across the globe. It’s an album thats certainly empowering but it’s also a body of work which is often very tender and touching.
My only real issue with the record is that it’s perhaps a few tracks too long. The track Land of “Hope and Dreams” is not just the album highlight for me but a perfect track to end on. It soars through the roof and into the sky, it encapsulates everything on the album into one track and the late Clarence Clemons sax solo’s are the icing on the cake. Had the album wrapped when this song came to it’s conclusion it would have been even more solid than it already is. Although a small gripe admittedtly it feels like a perfect ending was lost by carrying on afterwards.
Still that aside Wrecking Ball is an album that I sincerely loved and it’s one that will be on repeat for many moons to come. A true highlight in a forty year career spanning many memorable moments.