I love Bruce Springsteen. As a teen I loved him,but sometimes I got sick of hearing about his importance. Like Bob Dylan,Bruce is held to a mythical status among his fans.Unlike Bob Dylan,Bruce still makes albums that are of value in whatever social climate they are produced and unlike Dylan,Bruce still has an incredible voice.
I have sirius xm in my vehicle and eighty percent of my driving time is listening to Elvis Radio or E-Street radio. When the new album “Wrecking Ball” was announced,the folks on E-Street Radio devised the plan to play one track off the album each day up until the albums release date. This was an outstanding plan,especially in this day and age of quick scan listening and judging on itunes. Then Jimmy Fallon had Bruce week on his show and Bruce came-TWICE and so there were four E-Street performances in one week.
All that built up allot of excitement in fans,including myself,who quickly went to my favorite small business here in town “Charlemagne Records” to ask Jimmy if he had “the new Springsteen”. “Oh yes they answered,its just not on the shelf yet-it just came in its still in the box”. (Score-like a boss) I so enjoyed the last Springsteen album “Working on a Dream” but everything I heard on this album was so much more incredible. I had to have it,and I had to have it on vinyl…oh yes…yes I did.
The guys on Sirius said something that made a point that I have never been able to articulate. They said “Rock music is and always has been about sounds and beats that are built around the words”. It got me thinking,the best rock and roll musicians,and the ones who have lasted and had the most impact,are truly writers at the core. Telling stories and creating an incredible sound around the words. If they are real,then we as fans hear both. This album is both. Only a few have called into Sirius not understanding it,or not appreciating it,because they are comparing it to Bruce of the nineties…but Bruce is not Bruce of the nineties no more then any one else is who they were in the nineties. Most importantly …this is not the nineties. What is most impressive,and what is mostly heard from fans about this album is,just like most Bruce albums,there are no names mentioned but people are sang about. Just like “The Rising” was an album about people in the aftermath of 9/11 and ‘Working on a Dream” was about people who had hope in a new administration…this album is about people now,in this time. We don’t hear rants about politics out right,we hear the peoples story,and somehow that is a constant among Bruce records. Somehow he can always tap that nerve,and that is probably why he can continue to write new material-the peoples story is his “genre” of writing. Unlike other legends of his age who write and record new records but tour on old hits,Bruce Springsteen fans give input and want to hear whatever is new and coming from him. It is likely why his fan base continues to grow,and why he is held to mythical proportions.
I respect his writing and his efforts,but respect aside,this album is worth the physical buy-not just a tag in the play-list on “Spotify”.