Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Bruce Almighty

Bruce Springsteen, The Boss. I'd like to rename him, though he'd never accept my title. I'd rename him the Prophet, or The Wise Man, or The Voice of America. Superlatives don't quite touch Bruce Almighty. His latest album, Wrecking Ball, is a kind of clarion call to care. I'm inspired.

He declares in 'This Depression:'

     This is my confession
     I need your heart    
     In this depression

Sprinsteen seamlessly blends the personal with the political. His lyrics hint at a troubled, dying America that he wishes to be reconstructed, noting that 'we've been travelling around rocky ground' (in 'Rocky Ground'). The album's title track seems to invite a revolutionary (Obama? Civil society?) to destroy what has long been in shambles. He proposes: 'if you've got the guts and you've got the balls/bring on your wrecking ball.' Instead of this seeming dark and destructive the record has an uplifting, healing, optimistic  sound to it, with rousing choruses. If you're an adult rock radio listener you've probably heard the single 'Death to My Hometown.' On paper, this title sounds like an eerie terrorist cry to destroy New York City. As a song, it's like a traditional American march, demanding change for the right reasons.

You can certainly interpret this as a protest record. Bruce rails at the fat-cat bankers, sympathises with  honest employment and the underclasses and tries to suggest that the land of hope and dreams needs to stop punishing the innocent. Even though this isn't an E-street record, the instrumentation is lush and full of empowering rhythms. You'll hear the last notes from sax stunner Clarence Clemons completing the sound of loveliness on a couple songs too. Without exception, the songs are singable and memorable.     

In short, this is perfect father's day gift for your Dad. The brothers/boyfriends/classic rockers you know would be equally thrilled with your most excellent taste.

The best album I've heard in years. 5/5.

Albums seem to have died with itunes. Do you have any album recommendations? (I love most things with some catchy rhythms, so don't think it has to be too 'worthy' or 'deep.')


  1. Absolutely brilliant blog!!! Glad I found it! You're pretty amazing! Looking forward to seeing more from you! Have a great weekend!

    1. Thank you. If I can capture 1/1 000 000 000 of the Bruce brilliance, I'm pleased. I've liked Springsteen for a few years, but it's only this album that's made me think he's worth the adoration and legend title.