Beginning with the album’s first single, the rocking anthem We Take Care of Our Own, The Boss’ intention on this album is clear from the get-go. There are country elements, such as Easy Money and Jack of All Trades which hark back to his Devils and Dust album, however, the majority of this album is Springsteen at his rocking best. Songs such as the album opener and the impressive title track push this album forwards at a rollicking pace and into your subconscious so that you cannot forget them.
Bruce Springsteen: Wrecking Ball
Consistent throughout this pace, however, is Springsteen’s frustration at the state of his country: Angry during tracks Shackled and Drawn and We Take Care of Our Own and sombre in the poignant Jack of All Trades. Typified by his lyric “Banker man grows fat / working man grows thin / it’s all happened before and it’ll happen again” Springsteen has shown himself again to be the voice of the people as he acknowledges the pain and anger of the 99% who would, as he states, “find the bastards and shoot them on sight” if they only had a gun and could find them.
The celtic inspired Death To My Hometown is an odd inclusion, but is one that still somehow fits within the mood of the album and is quirky and upbeat enough to be enjoyable. One that will surely incite raucous sing-alongs at concerts, it stands as evidence that Springsteen is not taking himself too seriously on this album. He is certainly having fun, which is necessary to stop this album becoming too depressive.
There are sublime musical elements throughout the album, the stirring guitar playing out Jack of All Trades is deeply affecting after such am emotional track. Most impressive, however, is Wrecking Ball. This track is one destined for the ages, one that will be a standout at gigs and that will stand the test of time alongside hits like Born To Run and Born In The U.S.A. This track strikes the perfect balance between rock sensibilities and the fire this album contains. Not mincing his words when describing the ‘filled anuses’ of those he is accusing, here we are reminded of The Boss’ potency when he convinces you to sing along with such a bold statement.
This album, like its title track, is a strong statement: The Boss is here; he is here for the 99%; he will not be silent or censored; and he is not happy. This is the most significant album Springsteen has released in recent memory and will only add to his legacy. If you have ever sung along to a song on his Greatest Hits, you must buy this album.