Artist: Bruce Springsteen
Title: “Wrecking Ball”
Format: Digital (Spotify)
“Wrecking Ball” marks The Boss’ best studio effort of original material in a decade, but that isn’t saying much. His post-”The Rising” output has been inconsistent.
“Wrecking Ball” comes from a period of loss for Springsteen. The Boss penned the title track about Giants Stadium in his home state of New Jersey, debuting the tune during his final five-night stand there in 2009.
The album also is the first without E Street Band members Danny Federici and Clarence Clemons. Clemons, “The Big Man,” appears on the title track and turns in what might be his final saxophone solo on “Land of Hope and Dreams,” a song written during the infancy of the E Street reunion in the late ’90s.
The album is front-loaded with quality tracks, including the four-to-the-floor smash “We Take Care of Our Own.” The back half includes “Rocky Ground,” which aims for a gospel rave up and includes a misguided guest rap.
It’s a risk, much like the one he took in a guest spot covering LMFAO’s “Sexy and I Know It” with Jimmy Fallon.
A few poor tracks don’t deter from the reality of “Wrecking Ball,” which is a return to form for Springsteen.
Our Music Year is Daily Republic popular culture writer Nick DeCicco’s yearlong online review in 2012 of albums he had previously not listened to. The reviews will appear in print on their corresponding days during 2013. Reach him at 427-6966 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ndeciccodr.