‘The Boss’ breaks new ground with ‘Wrecking Ball’
CARL J. BACHUS | Collegio Reporter
Rating: 3/5 stars
To be fair, I will allude to them, but I will not compare “Wrecking Ball” to any of Bruce Springsteen’s previous material. That’s a difficult thing to do given Spring- steen’s illustri- ous career, but “Wrecking Ball” is almost completely different from anything else he has done. “Ball” is Springsteen’s 17th studio offering and features 13 original tracks written by the singer himself, in his classic Americana sound with some gospel and Irish folk sounds.
The album’s first track, the patriotic war cry “We Take Care of Our Own,” perfectly symbolizes the album’s theme of anger and rebellion. Most of the tracks are written from the viewpoint of disenfranchised Americans. Songs like “Jack of All Trades” speak to the optimistic workingman trying to make a living. A lot of Springsteen’s older
material dealt with characters experienc- ing economic turmoil, but this is the first time he’s directly targeted those he feels are responsible for the financial situa- tion.
The songs are pure Americana and you know Springsteen when you hear him. Yet this is probably his most ambi- tious record. There is a heavy spiritual sound surrounding the album. Songs like the soulful “Rocky Ground” are smothered in deep gospel arrangements
that create a feeling of unity, however synthetic that feel- ing may be.
The LP features produc- tion by Ron Aiello, producer for such acts as Gavin De- Graw and Lifehouse. “Ball” features a cohesive list of tracks that sound dynami- cally different, yet comple- ment each other in terms
of theme. A lot of the lyrics sweep over some of the gray areas that come with the territory he’s stepping into. There isn’t much beyond the surface, but the epic production makes it feel righteous and poignant.
“Wrecking Ball” isn’t the best album you’ll hear this year, but it is well worth the listen. It’s easy to see why people wouldn’t like it, but if all of the politics are stripped away, it’s a decent, fun rock outing from a living legend.