I don’t know about you guys, but I am a huge fan of Jimmy Fallon. Some nights I’ll even suffer through Jay Leno just to get to Late Night, and that’s saying something. I’ve been pulling out my best impressions of The Boss since Bruce Springsteen week last week, particularly the impression Jimmy did of Bruce saying “wreckin ball.” This comes as no surprise, then, that I’d have to actually listen to Wrecking Ball at some point. Tonight is that point.
The album opens with the inspirational We Take Care of Our Own. Bruce is known for his social commentary in his music and this album seems to be no different, especially with this kind of opening. It’s a powerful, gritty track that’s as much questioning as it is patriotic. Wherever this flag is flown, we take care of our own.
While he was on Jimmy Fallon, Bruce and the E Street Band performed the incredibly moving Jack of All Trades. Flowing with the overall message of the album, this track is a quiet tale of working class citizens who will work at any job just to get the bills paid. I’m a jack of all trades, darlin we’ll be all right.
The title track is one of my favorites on the entire album. Weaving through a beautiful sea of classic Bruce sounds, instruments layer on top of one another and Bruce’s voice maintains that crisp twang that everyone knows and loves.
Rocky Ground is mildly religious with an interesting point of view, especially compared to the rest of the album nodding toward social commentary instead of religious commentary. This song takes a look into Biblical ideas while remaining in line with the surrounding tracks. Bruce also shakes it up in this song and has a bit of a rap in the middle of the track – sadly not rapped by himself.
The album wraps up with the more upbeat, slightly modern rock means international river dancing tune American Land. This is a great track to end the album on – it’s hopeful, inspirational and upbeat, and in comparison to some of the other tracks (and the way things are right now in the US), it’s nice to hear something like this.
Bruce continues to prove why he is still popular and relevant in today’s culture through this disc. It maintains his usual stature of social commentary while still being beautiful musically. He touches on so many different genres and influences musically on this album that it keeps you paying close attention and wondering what will be up next. Yet another solid album by the man who truly earned the nickname The Boss.
Wrecking Ball (track 7)
Land of Hope and Dreams (track 10)
Swallowed Up (In the Belly of the Whale) (track 12)