Bruce Springsteen – Wrecking Ball LP
The Boss’ seventeenth studio album and first in three years. In part a reaction to the banking crisis and described by Springsteen as the first time he’s written a song about someone in a tie, it’s also a new suit musically with African and Celtic influences showing up in between the transcendentally huge riffs…
It's bluejean, anthemic Springsteen and full of the New Jersey heartland rocker’s pomp, but between ‘We Take Care of Our Own's fluttering flags and ‘Easy Money's girl in a red dress the first half of 'Wrecking Ball' might have you yearning for the more earthy terrain of 'Nebraska' or underrated, angular 'Ghost of Tom Joad'. Springsteen's always been more powerful the quieter he speaks and he's like a disappointed Dad on songs like ‘The Depression’, which arguably sits better on a man in his sixties than the slightly worn out leather of his James Dean bombast elsewhere.
It's an album split between these guises, but while the future might hold a couple of extra notches on the belt, it also heralds a clarity and consideration sometimes missing from his previous material. He does his best thinking when he's working and album highight 'Jack of All Trades' sees an older, wiser Springsteen banging in nails before building to a beautiful waltz of a song.
Words by Rob Barker