Just heard this album early released on his website and I have to say this is his best one since The Rising. It's beautifully layered and textured with a big, rich, full sound. His lyrics are traditional Bruce... honest and powerful. He blends that old sound with a modern flair - but it works.... it so works. This is the real deal. I'm trying to think of a particular song that stands out, but honestly every song here stands on its own. Well done, Bruce! Can't wait to get the CD to play it over and over in my car. FOUR STARS!
I keep hearing how this is the best since The Rising, which I found boring and tiring, also. After hearing this new one, I find it the worst one since The Rising. The spark is gone and he is out of touch. He speaks about Katrina in one song, an event that happened years ago. It makes me wonder if it was written years ago just as many on The Rising were written years before release. I won't be buying this one and I have every other one. A life long fan who is disappointed in this so-called "angry" collection.
Well the reason you & others feel that way is because Bruce now has a string section (Violins) in his band now. If you haven't seen Bruce in awhile that's the first thing you'll notice for better or worse. Now to be completely fair here he's got to give his wife Patty Scafella (SP?) something to do while he's performing on stage. But now for his forthcoming tour he's also got a giant horn section as well, some 11-12 horns as well. In other words the E street Band has swallowed up Jack Mack & the Heart Attack. Yes he still rocks but this aint no Born to run or Born in the USA either. So yes on the positive Bruce still rocks but it now sounds different as a result of the inclusion of all these new musical instruments. Ever since the Pete Seeger Sessions Bruce has been off kilter for me. He still manages to write a good song or two but now there's more fair to middling songs you have to get through. Politics aside, I may not feel the need to see Bruce in concert this time around. What has always been a true R&R event is just becoming predictable. The always highly over priced ticket prices do not endure me to pray at the alter of Bruce like I used to willingly do without question. So yes that in a nutshell is why the Bruce you used to love doesn't sound the same as he used to!
It just goes to show you that there are probably as many opinions about Bruce's work as there are Bruce fans. I too thought "The Rising" was boring and hated the sound of the damn thing (good riddance to Brendan O'Brien) but really love the new one. The sound is direct, Bruce's singing is full and not drawled, and most of the songs are really solid except for a couple slow ones that verge near the dreaded power ballad. Though this wasn't always the case, at this stage of his career I find his rockers more convincing than his ballads.
Bruce's music and lyrics reflect our times better than any other American artist, and his shows are still the best in rock 'n roll, by far. By the end of one of his concerts, you are emotionally drained from both the joy and contemplation you've experienced in the previous three hours. His music has helped me through the worst moments of my life and has kept me going more than any single artist on earth could possibly do.
Out of touch, you say ? If "Shackled and Drawn", "Death to My Hometown", the title track and "Rocky Ground" don't sum up our times perfectly, I don't know what does. Our society has sucked for the past thirty years, and the songs on this album provide a compassionate tonic for its collective consciousness.
That's pretty sad, Robert, that a person that doesn't care for you one iota has sooo much influence on your life. Frankly, my family has kept me going through my life. Live your life vicariously, or live your life. It's up to you but don'y complain to me about my opinions.Yes the last 30 years have sucked, but not for Bruce. As a life long fan he lost touch with us around 1998, sorry.
I'm not complaining about your opinions -- I just disagree with your opinions. And to say he lost touch around 1998 is just plain ignorant. He was the first major rock artist to respond to the tragedy of 9/11 with 'The Rising'. So what if he has a major influence on my life ? His songs have often prevented me from cashing in my chips when I've been at my lowest. If you were aware of some of the crap I've been through, you would understand. That's great that your family keeps you going. Some of us don't have a family to rely on for an uplift.
I liked The Rising heck, I really liked Magic however, Working on a Dream was my Bruce off ramp, way too much politics & mediocre quality song writing to ignore. But artists like Bruce tend to change with the times. In addition to the horn section I mentioned earlier he also has a string section as well. Now I won't say if this is a plus or a minus when it comes to the totality of Bruce's current offerings but it is an adjustment to his music style you can't ignore either. As long as his song writing remains strong his E street band will sound intact. But the old standards that you grew up listening to ware going to sound different to you when he chooses to play them in concert. Some of us who've been listening to Bruce since the 70's & 80's will remark that "he's lost his fire", his "desperation", his "urgency". and that's partially true, Bruce is now (has been for awhile now) an established rock performer, he is considered mainstream. He's no longer struggling to make it into the big time, he is considered big time. And that's why I think his music has changed as a result. My take on Wrecking Ball is its a much better effort then Working on a Dream but its not the The River either. Artists grow and change just like you & I do as well with the passage of time. Its just that with some music artists you can actually spend more time with them vs the others you tend to leave behind!
Thank you Susan for point out the "egregious" error on my part. Your correct it was Sting who came out with "Brand New Day". I haven't a clue as to how or why I made this mistake but I made it nonetheless. I stand corrected and have since corrected my post accordingly. Thanks for taking the time to read my post and point out my rather obvious mistake. Regards! Asche.
I hope you (Asche Ackerman) have changed your mind about not feeling the need to go to a Springsteen show this time around. The shows of the Wrecking Ball-tour are without a doubt maybe the best of his whole (long) carriere. I saw him four times last year in Cologne, Berlin, Florence and in Helsinki where he played his longest show ever (more than 4 hours without a break) and I´m going to see him again three times this year. He is not only that good, no, he is by far the best living rock performer out there and maybe even more important, he still is relevant. Kind regards, Tramp69