Skip to main content

23rd March 2012

Album: Bruce Springsteen – Wrecking Ball

The glory days just keep on rollin’ for The Boss.

Bruce Springsteen
Wrecking Ball
Columbia Records
4 and a half stars.

Seventeen studio albums in and Bruce Springsteen is still delivering first class albums – does age have no effect on this man? Wrecking Ball is perhaps Springsteen’s angriest album yet, grappling with themes of injustice and economic decline so those expecting tales of long summers night are in for a shock. Not only is there a change in tone lyrically (take the song ‘Jack of all Trades’ for example: “If I had me a gun, I’d find the bastards and shoot ’em on sight”) but musically we’re also in very different territory from Working On A Dream.

The album showcases an eclectic mix of songs, from Irish flavoured folk tunes like ‘Shackled and Drawn’ to the trademark Springsteen anthems in ‘We Take Care of our Own’. There is of course a sad, but fitting, reminder of the passing of Clarence ‘The Big Man’ Clemonts in the song ‘Land of Hope and Dreams’, featuring his last contribution on record and what a contribution as he plays the trademark sax solo, the type of which has come to define the E Street band’s sound.

It’s amazing that Bruce still sounds, and performs, as if it were 1975, but even more remarkable for me is the fact he can produce an album of such relevance and vitality at 62. Believe me, this is no half-hearted, run of the mill piece of work. For most fans, a classic artist’s new material is not necessarily something you want to see on a set list, but come May I will be looking forward to hearing these tunes delivered by the sheer magnificence of the legendary E Street band.

Bruce Springsteen – Jack of All Trades

Tom Ingham

Tom Ingham

Music Editor

More Coverage

Remembering: Shane MacGowan

Following his untimely passing on the 30th of November 2023, The Mancunion looks back on Shane MacGowan’s incredible artistic output across his life

Sundara Karma live in Manchester: Indie revisited at the O2 Ritz

Indie quartet Sundara Karma return to the O2 Ritz to tour their new album and, importantly for most, play the old stuff

Noah Kahan live in Manchester: A heart-warming performance at O2 Victoria Warehouse

Grammy nominated singer/songwriter Noah Kahan moves the O2 Victoria Warehouse crowd with a stunning performance

Freya Beer and Yasmin Coe live in Manchester: The future of women in alternative music is in safe hands

Freya Beer’s headline show, alongside Yasmin Coe’s support slot, was an overwhelming assertion of the feminine presence in contemporary alternative music