The Boss has been in charge for almost forty years but he’s still got just as much piss and vinegar as ever. Springsteen has shown that he’s just as rough around the edges as ever on his latest album Wrecking Ball. Gone is the more optimistic vision of hope for our country on Working on Dream as it has been replaced by a more grim outlook. Wrecking Ball tells us that now we got to fight for the American dream and it’s not gonna be pretty. Singing on behalf of the 99 percent and the downtrodden individuals of today’s economy, Wrecking Ball may be Springsteen’s angriest and most political record yet. Of course I’m always willing to rally behind the rock anthems of Springsteen, but I find that on Wrecking Ball the music has taken a backseat to the message.
I’m willing to listen to anyone who has the balls to speak out against corruption in business or government or “Corporate Fuck” as I like to so eloquently call it, I just wish Springsteen’s melodies were as inspired as the message. There are some epic musical moments here that really do hit like a wrecking ball, but even on a third listen it still blurs together. The lead single “We Take Care of Our Own” is my favorite with it’s catchy guitar hook and inspiring lyrics and the title track is another folksy pleasure, if not somewhat formulaic by Springsteen standards. Really I like everything here I just didn’t fall in love with it like I did with Working on a Dream.
I appreciate Springsteen fighting for the working man, but when that’s every track I’ll admit it gets a little tired. The album is certainly a more painful and powerful record but sometimes I prefer the Springsteen that sings about things like dancing in the dark and having a hungry heart. Of course I have to mention how The E-Street Band hasn’t been the same without saxophonist Clarence Clemons, he’s present on a few tracks here but it’s just not the same. Many critics have hailed Wrecking Ball as one of Springsteen’s best in years but I disagree. I liked both Magic and Working on a Dream more than Wrecking Ball, but that aside this is still a strong followup and worth checking out for fans of Springsteen or maybe even the American dream in general.
Favorite Tracks: “Land of Hope and Dreams”, “Wrecking Ball” “We Take Care of Our Own”