An excellent, informative review.
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This review is from: Wrecking Ball (Deluxe) (Audio CD)
I was lucky enough to be at the Giants Stadium on September 30th 2009 when Bruce strode out and first performed "Wrecking Ball" and got the MP3 of it a short while later when it was released so to see it on the new album was a bit of a shock especially as the album includes "Land of hope and dreams" too as the live version of this has appeared on the "Live in NYC" album before. Is he having trouble writing songs I thought but then when I read that he rejected 40 odd songs to put this album together I guess that he's crafted this album to tell the story as he wants to tell it (and as "Land of hope and dreams" features the last recorded sax that The Big Man left us with it would be valuable for that if it weren't a great song anyway).
This is a very dark album and as close to a concept album as you'll ever get from Bruce Springsteen - he starts with "We take care of our own" which, if you listen to the lyrics, "we "being the USA patently do not although I can see it being a rabble rouser.
The album next deals with the subject of "Easy Money" - a theme obviously explored before in "Meeting across the river" on "Born to run".
He explores the themes of being a working class blue collar kind of guy who wants to find work - wherever it can be found - in the next two tracks - "Shackled and drawn" and "Jack of all trades" then comes the first of the real stand out tracks - "Death to my hometown" which sounds very much as though this was a hangover from the "Seeger Sessions" album.
"This depression" finds Bruce in, well, depressive mood as the song's title says - this is the album's "low" point as the songs from hereon in are hopeful starting with the folksy sounding "You've got it" - what is "it" though ? I think it's hope.
The next track - "Rocky Ground" looks to become a stone cold classic, folky and very "religious" in it's language even incorporating a little rap in the lyrics. The chorus sounds like a Southern baptist evangelical choir. It's fabulous.
Next up the aforementioned "Land of hope and dreams" - again a fabulous track, full of hope at where "we" are going now - on "this train" full of "whores and gamblers"
The ordinary edition ends with "We are alive" again full of religious symbolism - the message here is that the body may die but the spirit never will
The special edition adds "Swallowed up"(in the belly of the whale) which, if it isn't an old hymn, damn well sounds as if it should be and concludes with another version of "American Land" which sounds the same as the version on the "Seeger Sessions" album - still a great track even if I do wonder why we need it again !
So there you have it - one man's journey (and it is mainly one man as the E Street Band don't make much of an appearance on this album) from despair into hopelessness and out the other side into a (hopefully) bright future.
To my mind, and having only listened to it three or four times, I think it's great. It sounds to me like a cross between "Nebraska" or "Tom Joad" and "The Rising" with a healthy dollop of "The Seeger Sessions" thrown in for good measure
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Initial post: 16 Mar 2012 09:39:27 GMT
An excellent, informative review.
In reply to an earlier post on 18 Mar 2012 18:33:17 GMT
Tramps like us says:
Thank you - I've been listening to this album a lot and I think it's one of Bruce's very best. I cannot wait until I see him again this year as I think the concerts are going to be somewhat of an "event" !!
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