The Rising - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band

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. Lyrically, Springsteen walks a fine line on this outing, filling songs with descriptive if somewhat pedestrian tidbits.
  3. Impassioned and bold, this record is a triumph.
  4. 80
    Beginning with "Further On (Up The Road)," Springsteen finds his footing and rides out the album on a stirring high note. [#9, p.140]
  5. 90
    Both sober and celebratory, The Rising makes a strong case for the transcending power of rock and roll.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 70
    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]
  11. Like all his best work, the whole of The Rising is better than the sum of its individual songs.
  12. 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.
  13. 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."
  14. The Rising somewhat falters in its middle third, as Springsteen struggles to make this a cohesive record.
  15. 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.
  16. In size and texture it's closer to 1980's The River than anything since. [Sep 2002, p.111]
  17. Even for him, though, The Rising, with its bold thematic concentration and penetrating emotional focus, is a singular triumph.
  18. 80
    The most eloquent artistic response yet to the World Trade Center tragedy. [Sep 2002, p.130]
  19. 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.
  20. 100
    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]
  21. 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.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 91 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 41 out of 42
  2. Negative: 0 out of 42
  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. Dec 17, 2013
    While the title of the record isn't autobiograhpical for Springsteen, it might as well have been. I'm not sure if Bruce ever completely lostWhile the title of the record isn't autobiograhpical for Springsteen, it might as well have been. I'm not sure if Bruce ever completely lost his mojo (1995's The Ghost of Tom Joad is evidence enough) but many will agree that the once insuppressible Rock N Roller from New Jersey lost something other than his band during the mid 80's. The Renaissance of The Boss began with this reflective yet hopefull record. Over the decade or so since his come back with this album, his output has been incredibly consistent in terms of high quality as seems to continue to feed off the positivity present on this record. Springsteen hadn't sounded so appealling to the masses in almost 20 years before this and the majority of songs here woulnd't be out of place on any of his classic records between 1975 and 1984.

    The tunes have a big big sound, the lyrics are full of typical Springsteen slogan's of positivity and hope and while the cynic might call them cheesy at times, they couldn't be more suited for purpose. With plenty of epics and not a bad song to be found, "The Rising" is a must have record.
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