The Rising

  • Record Label: Sony
  • Release Date: Jul 30, 2002

Universal acclaim - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. The Rising is one of the very best examples in recent history of how popular art can evoke a time period and all of its confusing and often contradictory notions, feelings and impulses.
  2. In one fell swoop Springsteen has released an album that is chillingly relevant even as much of it, especially the over ballyhooed "Mary's Place", is unabashedly anachronistic.
  3. Uncut
    A brave and beautiful album of humanity, hurt and hope from the songwriter best qualified to speak to and for his country.... A towering achievement. [Album of the Month, Sep 2002, p.102]
  4. Q Magazine
    In size and texture it's closer to 1980's The River than anything since. [Sep 2002, p.111]
  5. Mojo
    There are more retro-sounding pop-R&B numbers with "sha la la" backing vocals than the subject matter might indicate, a stadium rocker, some soulful ballads recalling early Van Morrison, and stirring gospel. [Sep 2002, p.94]
  6. Even for him, though, The Rising, with its bold thematic concentration and penetrating emotional focus, is a singular triumph.
  7. Too many of the 15 tracks are padding and the entire record is neutered by a production that brushes everything up to a mediocre gloss.
  8. Any suggestion of a musical crisis of confidence, however, vanishes with the album's first chord, which picks up pretty much where Born In The U.S.A. left off 18 years ago.
  9. Spin
    The most eloquent artistic response yet to the World Trade Center tragedy. [Sep 2002, p.130]
  10. Springsteen's words may be weighted with the aftershocks of death, but the music, ironically, is animated; unlike ''Joad,'' ''The Rising'' is a pleasure to hear.
  11. Blender
    Beginning with "Further On (Up The Road)," Springsteen finds his footing and rides out the album on a stirring high note. [#9, p.140]
  12. Lyrically, Springsteen walks a fine line on this outing, filling songs with descriptive if somewhat pedestrian tidbits.
  13. Impassioned and bold, this record is a triumph.
  14. Over the years, it might not stand up to classics such as Nebraska or The River, but the The Rising gives us something more important right now: a reason to believe.
  15. He sounds as genuinely hurt and confused as any of us, but if he's gained any insight into that hurt or confusion, he's not about to express it.
  16. Like all his best work, the whole of The Rising is better than the sum of its individual songs.
  17. 90
    Both sober and celebratory, The Rising makes a strong case for the transcending power of rock and roll.
  18. Anyone hoping that this reunion with his old band would mean Springsteen's found his focus and was ready to rededicate himself to the freewheelin' spunk of his "classic" period will surely be disappointed with The Rising.
  19. Springsteen refuses to allow himself either vengefulness or excessive pride, and he avoids too-literal musings on the tragedy that ultimately undermined songs like Neil Young's "Let's Roll."
  20. The Rising somewhat falters in its middle third, as Springsteen struggles to make this a cohesive record.
  21. The Rising is a tiresome battle between the sheer spirit that Bruce and his sidekicks invest in their work and the material itself, which is underwritten and overproduced.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 95 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 42 out of 45
  2. Negative: 0 out of 45
  1. ScottH
    Feb 13, 2006
    Bruce does it again.
  2. RyanM.
    Apr 29, 2005
    It seems uncanny how many great songs are on this record. One of the few albums where I never skip a track.
  3. Oct 17, 2016
    ...............................A Masterpiece!!!! Little affected by two weak tracks with weak melodies "The Fuse" & "Further up (on the road),...............................A Masterpiece!!!! Little affected by two weak tracks with weak melodies "The Fuse" & "Further up (on the road), " but the rest is Awesome a Masterpiece even..... Full Review »