I forgot this record was coming out. That’s odd for me, since it’s obvious I’m a massive Springsteen fan…maybe it’s the Born To Run tattoo or the nerdy b-side and rarities vinyl collection. With my head so far up hip hops ass the past few months, this one got past me, but that’s alright. I hadn’t read about it, and had only heard “Wrecking Ball” during the hoopla surrounding the leveling of the old Meadowlands stadium. So there was no anticipation or preconceived notions surrounding Bruce’s 17th studio album.
Bruce doesn’t reinvent the wheel, he never has. His talent lies in his ability to craft songs that reach the core of his fans, who happen to be hard workers chasing their little slice of the dream. That, and his knack for bringing out the very best of his band and letting it bleed onstage for hours at a time.
Wrecking Ball will not shock you. There are no Bruce classics here, yet no throw aways either. The record focuses on the balance between working man anthems and thinly veiled political rants. While none of it soap boxes into the land of the obnoxious, at times it feels formulaic. Moments of pure stomp and bliss like “Easy Money” are where this record shines its brightest.
Critics may swoon but I’ll offer this; Wrecking Ball is the perfect album for Bruce and the boys to make right now. Maybe this is the soundtrack for a nation full of middle classers undecided, barely getting by but still rising each morning.
We all wondered if the band would pick back up after the death of the big man, and they did touching down all over the sonic map. If you have the patience, you might find a gem or two in the wreckage of Jersey’s favorite son.