|Record Label:||Columbia (USA)|
|Genre:||Oldies, Rock 'N' Roll|
1. We Take Care of Our Own - (featuring New York Chamber Consort)
2. Easy Money
3. Shackled and Drawn
4. Jack of All Trades
5. Death to My Hometown
6. This Depression
7. Wrecking Ball
8. You've Got It
9. Rocky Ground
10. Land of Hope and Dreams
11. We Are Alive
|Playing Time:||52 min.|
|Contributing Artists:||New York Chamber Consort, Victorious Gospel Choir|
|Producer:||Bruce Springsteen, Ron Aniello|
|Distributor:||Columbia Records/Sony Mus|
Personnel: Bruce Springsteen (vocals, guitar, banjo, piano, organ, drums, percussion, loops); Ron Aniello (guitar, keyboards, drums, loops); Kevin Buell (guitar); Greg Leisz (banjo, mandola); Charlie Giordano (accordion, piano); Stan Harrison (clarinet, alto saxophone); Ed Manion (tenor saxophone); Darrell Leonard, Curt Ramm (trumpet); Art Baron (euphonium, tuba, sousaphone); Dan Levine (alto horn).Recording information: MSR Studio B; Stone Hill Studio; Very Loud House Studio.Photographers: Jo Lopez; Danny Clinch.Heavy lies the crown on Bruce Springsteen' head. Alone among his generation -- or any subsequent, actually -- he has shouldered the burden of telling stories of the downtrodden in the new millennium, a class whose numbers increase by the year, a fact that weighs on Springsteen throughout 2012's Wrecking Ball. Such heavy-hearted rumination is not unusual for the Boss. Ever since The Rising, his 2012 return to action, a record deliberately tailored to address the lingering anger and sorrow from 9/11, Springsteen has eschewed the frivolous in favor of the weighty, escalating his dry, dusty folk and operatic rock in tandem, all in hopes of pushing the plight of the forgotten into public consciousness. Each of his five albums since The Rising has been tailored for the specific political moment -- Devils & Dust ruminated over forgotten Americans in the wake of the Iraq war, We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions was an election year rallying call, Magic struggled to find meaning in these hard times, Working on a Dream saw hope in the dawning days of Obama -- and it's no mistake that Wrecking Ball fuses elements of all four into an election year state of the union: Bruce is taking stock of where we are and how we got here, urging us to push forward. If that sounds a bit haughty, it also plays that way. Springsteen has systematically removed any element of fun -- "Mary's Place" is the only original in the past decade that could be called a party song -- along with all the romance or any element confessional songwriting. He has adopted the mantle of troubadour as oral historian, telling tales of the forgotten and punctuating them with rallying calls to action. Wrecking Ball contains more of the latter than either of its predecessors, summoning the masses to rise up against fatcat bankers, set to singalongs lifted from Seeger. There's an unshakable collectivist hootenanny feel on Wrecking Ball, not to mention allusions to gospel including a borrowed refrain from "This Train," but Springsteen takes pains to have the music feel modern, inviting Tom Morello to do aural paintings with his guitar, threading some trip-hop rhythms into the mix, and finding space for a guest rap on "Rocky Ground." Springsteen is so focused on preaching against creeping inequality in the .U.S, he's emphasized his words over his music, letting the big-footed stomps and melancholy strumming play second fiddle to the stories. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
5 stars out of 5 -- WRECKING BALL is the most despairing, confrontational and musically turbulent album Bruce Springsteen....This is darkness gone way past the edge of town, to the heart of the republic.
With an awesomely rootsy production style that recalls 2006's THE SEEGER SESSIONS, the album even sounds like a cross section of America, drawing from folk, gospel and hip-hop.
WRECKING BALL features the bluntest condemnations of bankers and big business yet expressed by a star of Springsteen's magnitude.