Sunday, 11 March 2012

Bruce Springsteen - Wrecking Ball: The Boss still sounding impeccable seventeen albums on

Legendary singer-songwriter Bruce Springsteen is known for his strong political activism just as much as his awesome musicianship. And here he is with what some are calling his most angry album yet. Lyrically Wrecking Ball is absolutely loaded with power: singing about "trudging through the dark in a world gone wrong," how the bankers "left our bodies on the plains, the vultures picked our bones," and the less imagerial "if I had a gun I'd find the b*stards and shoot them on sight."

Here Springsteen marches, stirring up unrest, uniting America under one flag and providing the fuel aimed to reignite the rebellion lost after the oppression of Wall Street. "I want everyone to stand up," "we take care of our own," "bells of freedom ringing," it's all about that 99% who've come worse off after the governments greedy cuts that we're always hearing about on the news; the saints, the sinners, the losers, the winners, the whores, the gamblers, the lost souls, bringing them together and making one almighty army. Doubt it'll work on that scale but hope is perhaps the biggest driving force on the planet so don't completely knock it.

And the all this pure strength from the still motivated Springsteen, this overwhelming sense of dark ambition, this bitter unison is easily mirrored if not boosted by the supreme melodies and collossal-sounding harmonies played throughout. It's corny, he's even admitted it's corny, and it oversteps that fine line between invoking defiance and just being plain cheesy on a couple of tracks but overall Wrecking Ball is jam packed with triumphant musicality that'll have you singing along to every word.

Purely rock 'n' roll, spiced with elements from magnificent marching bands, 100 piece orchestras, angelic gospel beauties, the odd Irish jig (well, it is St. Patrick's Day next weekend) and, for the first time ever, an eight bar rap from Michelle Moore on Rocky Ground, out for Record Store Day this April. The last folk album I can think of this inspiring would have to be PJ Harvey's Let England Shake, and that was released February 2011!

My only criticism is more of a memorial to the late Clarence Clemons from Bruce's E Street Band who sadly passed away last year. Wrecking Ball has been made to sound as much as it can like the Born In The USA Springsteen that the world fell in love with but no one can truly replace Clemons' distinctive, prominent and always flawless saxophone playing. Knowing Wrecking Ball might contain the last two songs we will ever hear from him makes it all the more special. In our hearts, always.

No comments:

Post a Comment