User Score
8.7

Universal acclaim- based on 76 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 68 out of 76
  2. Negative: 5 out of 76

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  1. BoF
    Apr 25, 2006
    10
    Pure fun......
  2. karli
    Apr 26, 2006
    10
    I think its sad that so many "vintage" Springsteen fans seem unable to step out of their rawk n' roll closets for long enough to give this album a proper assessment. Yeah, yeah, we know you love "Born to Run" - most of America does. But no artist can - or should - exist in some immaculately frozen vaccum. If you make the same album over and over ad nauseum, how exciting is that, I think its sad that so many "vintage" Springsteen fans seem unable to step out of their rawk n' roll closets for long enough to give this album a proper assessment. Yeah, yeah, we know you love "Born to Run" - most of America does. But no artist can - or should - exist in some immaculately frozen vaccum. If you make the same album over and over ad nauseum, how exciting is that, anyways? Besides, you are missing the most important point here: this album isn't about moving away from rock n' roll. Its about reconnecting with the very life that birthed it. This album is so, so very alive. Its raw in the best of ways, its drunk silly and its all over the board. More than anything, in my opinion, this album is New Orleans, from the zydego and jazz influences to the rowdy atmosphere to many of the messages : on "Oh Mary Don't You Weep" when the music stops and God's promise of "no more water" is extolled, I had to catch my breath a little. I'll admit, here and now, that I've never particularly been a Bruce fan. I was a little thing during his heyday, and none of his recent material has been appealing to me. But this - this is American music at its truest and most fun, and I think its an album this country needs right now, whether it knows it or not. Expand
  3. StephenD
    May 1, 2006
    7
    I just listened to a preview of all the songs and...I dunno...they just didn't grab me. I think Pete Seeger is an American institution but did Bruce really need to cover his songs? Had he run out of ideas for his own stuff and so he decided to go back to his "roots"? Was he trying to pull a Beatles deal similar to what they did with "Let it Be"? That album was originally going to be I just listened to a preview of all the songs and...I dunno...they just didn't grab me. I think Pete Seeger is an American institution but did Bruce really need to cover his songs? Had he run out of ideas for his own stuff and so he decided to go back to his "roots"? Was he trying to pull a Beatles deal similar to what they did with "Let it Be"? That album was originally going to be called "Get Back" and at the time the Beatles were looking for a new musical direction but eventually they decided that they would "get back" to their "roots" and ultimately the album was released but it really wasn't what they'd originally planned. I'm a major fan of Bruce's music but I think he really turned a corner on this one. I guess time will tell...these are just my random thoughts. I always see the release of a new Springsteen album as an event and this album along with the previous one "Devils and Dust" were a bit anti-climatic for me. He got critical raves for that one...and I suppose he'll get them for this one, too. I guess critics "GET" him better than I do... Expand
  4. KostasM
    May 23, 2006
    10
    Amazing spirit and uplifting texturization of some of the oldest songs in American history. The music is great!! His voice - finally raw again!! Bruce mixing New Orleans Jazz, Gospel, Rock, Country etc. This is daring for a guy who can be misunderstood more than anything else. For the NOW critisism, I must say that this album is clearly a message against current politics. Unless the Amazing spirit and uplifting texturization of some of the oldest songs in American history. The music is great!! His voice - finally raw again!! Bruce mixing New Orleans Jazz, Gospel, Rock, Country etc. This is daring for a guy who can be misunderstood more than anything else. For the NOW critisism, I must say that this album is clearly a message against current politics. Unless the critic cannnot read the lyrics. Expand
  5. RickT.
    May 3, 2006
    9
    What a great album! It just sounds like Bruce and crew were having a good time. I'm sure the live shows will be amazing.
  6. BrianK
    Apr 25, 2006
    10
    As mentioned by the critics, this is a tribute album quality the likes of Bragg's and Wilco's Mermaid Avenue tributes to Guthrie. Unlike Clapton's boring note for note tribute to Robert Johnson on Me & Mr Johnson, these songs are revived, reinterpreted, and (re)arranged by the America's poet laureate, the Boss. Thanks Bruce for breaking through the today's As mentioned by the critics, this is a tribute album quality the likes of Bragg's and Wilco's Mermaid Avenue tributes to Guthrie. Unlike Clapton's boring note for note tribute to Robert Johnson on Me & Mr Johnson, these songs are revived, reinterpreted, and (re)arranged by the America's poet laureate, the Boss. Thanks Bruce for breaking through the today's mediocre commercial muzak humdrum. I've heard enough and had enough of the same old Coldplay, Jon Mayer, u2, and Dave Matthews. We need more artists like Bruce to unearth and revive traditional American roots music the way it should be. These are rich masterpieces musically, similar to the way Born to Run was laid out. They are also nice as just sing a-longs. All American. Full of history, tradition. Love it love it love it. Thanks for taking on a project that is what you wanted and not being swayed by the mainstream record executives. Expand
  7. JamesS
    Apr 27, 2006
    9
    I only gave this a 9 because I don't give 10's. Quite possibly up there with some of his best 70's work for vision and imagination. Nice one Bruce.
  8. MartinA.
    Apr 27, 2006
    10
    How good can traditional folk be? As good as Bruce can be. He took the dust off these melodies and made them his own. Joyful, soulful, inspired and rich album. The depth of the music, with 13 or so musicians, reveals subtle little (musical) lines with every spin of the CD. Fantastic folk.
  9. JayE
    Apr 27, 2006
    9
    This album is a joyful romp, seemingly performed without any calculation. There is an authenticity that is in stark contrast to Bruce's other albums which, as great as they are, always seem meticulously calculated. If you don't smile as he tears into Old dan Tucker, check yourself in for urgent care.
  10. DebraS
    Apr 29, 2006
    10
    This album is fantastic! Great musicianship, classic folk rendered anew with the inimitable Springsteen touch. His musical maturity is displayed for everyone to see on this album. He's a man not afraid to delve into the folk genre with gusto and aplomb. Way to go Bruce! The casual, stuck-in-the-rock rut listener may not like it, but it's their loss.
  11. MattD.
    May 2, 2006
    10
    It seems natural to me that he'd do the old folk songs - after all, rock music is not the only thing that influenced Springsteen. He treats these songs with reverence, while putting his own touch on them.
  12. GeorgeW
    May 4, 2006
    10
    Is NOW Magazine a politic rag or a music mag? Unaware that his country is at war? What does that have to do with music? Not everyone has to write protest or pro-war songs? Thank God. This music is a breath of fresh air for those of us who rarely here this kind of music and the historical depth of these songs dates back to the Great Depression, Civil War, 16th Century Scotland. This is a Is NOW Magazine a politic rag or a music mag? Unaware that his country is at war? What does that have to do with music? Not everyone has to write protest or pro-war songs? Thank God. This music is a breath of fresh air for those of us who rarely here this kind of music and the historical depth of these songs dates back to the Great Depression, Civil War, 16th Century Scotland. This is a =masterpiece. So tired of mainstream and classic rock. This is wonderful and hopefully can get people into different eras of music. Expand
  13. torgrimj
    May 6, 2006
    10
    excellent! I love every minute of this album! Dylan? Why compare Springsteen to Dylan? Springsteen is miles ahead of anyone right now in terms of credibility and quality!
  14. jonathans
    Jun 11, 2006
    9
    it's fun, musically it's a gem and the vocals are not all that bad (I'm not a Bruce fan), quite the opposite, they're great. For someone of his stature to take on this material is unexpected and it's just joyful music recorded raw and alive - like these songs are and were meant to be heard.
  15. JohnR
    Jun 2, 2006
    10
    Bruce and the band put a lot of heart and fun into the songs.
  16. Pete
    Jul 18, 2006
    10
    You gotta love it!!!
  17. johne
    Dec 6, 2006
    10
    I think this is the best bruce has done it inspired me to pick up my guitar and banjo and play I hope he gives us more
  18. royo
    Apr 24, 2006
    10
    On We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions, his strongest studio release in nearly 20 years, Bruce Springsteen has made some of the most powerful political statements of his career while, at the same time releasing a compelling disc that is both joyous and mournful. And he did all of this without writing an original lyric. Aided by the bravura work of a group of musicians who are, for the On We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions, his strongest studio release in nearly 20 years, Bruce Springsteen has made some of the most powerful political statements of his career while, at the same time releasing a compelling disc that is both joyous and mournful. And he did all of this without writing an original lyric. Aided by the bravura work of a group of musicians who are, for the purposes of the release, named the Seeger Sessions Band, Springsteen has interpreted folk legend Pete Seeger Expand
  19. JohnH
    Apr 24, 2006
    9
    On what planet can the music of Seeger be labeled "raucous", "rambunctions" and "spirited"? Planet Springsteen, baby! Bruce has never sounded fresher. While his last two albums ("The Rising" and "Devils and Dust") were arguably albums Springsteen *needed* to make, this is clearly an album he *wanted* to make, and the results speak for themselves. As fun as fried chicken and a square dance On what planet can the music of Seeger be labeled "raucous", "rambunctions" and "spirited"? Planet Springsteen, baby! Bruce has never sounded fresher. While his last two albums ("The Rising" and "Devils and Dust") were arguably albums Springsteen *needed* to make, this is clearly an album he *wanted* to make, and the results speak for themselves. As fun as fried chicken and a square dance at the town hall on a Sunday afternoon, this album rocks in a way that pre-dates rock-and-roll by a couple of generations. I am so glad that Bruce has reached a point in his life where he's free to do whatever the "H" he wants! Expand
  20. blazenoise
    Apr 24, 2006
    10
    Kudos for taking the risk! Welldone. This is a GREAT record, full of feel good music and feel bad lyrics! Jazz, rock, folk, gospel, beebop, country, ... it's all here.
  21. JohnS
    Apr 25, 2006
    10
    Springsteen puts his stamp on Seeger's music while being repectful to the folk roots. A joyous, powerful, timely and fresh CD that took me surprise. I was expecting an over-produced 'tribute' CD, but found something very special. There is an intentional rawness to the CD that is very honest, uplifting, fun, and engaging. A great CD that is definitely one of Bruce's Springsteen puts his stamp on Seeger's music while being repectful to the folk roots. A joyous, powerful, timely and fresh CD that took me surprise. I was expecting an over-produced 'tribute' CD, but found something very special. There is an intentional rawness to the CD that is very honest, uplifting, fun, and engaging. A great CD that is definitely one of Bruce's best (and that says a lot). Expand
  22. aaronb
    Apr 25, 2006
    9
    great sound.
  23. SteveD
    Apr 26, 2006
    10
    fantastic joyous cant wait for teh first show in Dublin!!!
  24. DougP
    Apr 26, 2006
    10
    Springsteen's best since 1987's TUNNEL OF LOVE. Even if you're not a fan, the themes of these timeless tracks and, more importantly, how authentically joyous they are delivered -- will leave you inspired.
  25. ChristianZ
    Apr 26, 2006
    10
    An absolutely wonderful surprise. Joyous, Raucous, and Fiery are words likely to come to mind will listening to this. But this work is also deeply moving. Shenandoah and Mrs. McGrath produce deeply felt performances from all involved. Mary Don't You Weep, Pay Me My Money Down, and certainly John Henry demand to be played at top volume at your next party. Let it rip and prepare An absolutely wonderful surprise. Joyous, Raucous, and Fiery are words likely to come to mind will listening to this. But this work is also deeply moving. Shenandoah and Mrs. McGrath produce deeply felt performances from all involved. Mary Don't You Weep, Pay Me My Money Down, and certainly John Henry demand to be played at top volume at your next party. Let it rip and prepare yourself for the party of the year, but be ready for those quiet moments too, when you feel like your heart is being rendered in half by the emotion being expressed. Expand
  26. PaulC
    Apr 27, 2006
    10
    Great CD. Very surprised by how good it was.
  27. ImanL
    Apr 28, 2006
    7
    Best album since "Nebraska"? -oh, please. Like most hootenanny's its a lot more fun if youreplaying then if yourelistening in. "Jesse James" and "Pay me..." are knockout rave ups put "We Shall Overcome" is a dirge at odds with the spirit of the sentiments and the rest is a messy but lively hodge podge. And if I wanna listen to messy but lively today Ill listen to babyshambles...
  28. markw
    Apr 29, 2006
    7
    Good but Ry Cooder has mined this seam over the years and with greater style and panache
  29. EdmilsonR
    May 21, 2006
    10
    It's a masterpiece! A joyful ride through music, with the spirit of Bruce's own work backing up the true soul of folk song. While the band plays you feel like dancing, singing, living!
  30. AmyH
    May 24, 2006
    10
    So good it made me cry. A total blast. The only problem is I can't get to sleep because the songs keep running through my head!
  31. PaulB
    May 30, 2006
    10
    This abum is a total masterpiece and a vast improvement on 2005's Devils & Dust,in my opinion its his best record yet and possiby the best album I have heard in the last 10 years......awesome
  32. Tere
    Jul 12, 2006
    10
    I wasn't sure i'd like Springsteen doing folky songs but it is a great album! Am watching PBS special Seeger Sessions in concert and it he is terrific.
  33. JoshF
    Jul 20, 2006
    10
    Springsteen does an excellent job of reviving some old classics.
  34. [Anonymous]
    Jul 3, 2006
    10
    Fun, poignant, alive. I'll never doubt Bruce again.
  35. Bruce1fan
    Apr 24, 2006
    9
    Bruce kickin the facsists with his hammer to bring the pain. Folk-ed em up old school. bout time!
  36. AlC
    Apr 24, 2006
    10
    Truly INSPIRING!
  37. peterb
    Apr 25, 2006
    10
    It's Bruce's most musical album of the last two decades! I love it!
  38. Steve
    Apr 25, 2006
    10
    A spectacular, joyous noise that thus far is the record of the year. It sounds and feels like everybody playing loved what they were doing and doing so with the utmost respect for the songs. Go buy it!
  39. KyleW
    Apr 25, 2006
    10
    Springsteen reinvents these songs like no other could. If you love music, listen to this stuff.
  40. TomT
    Apr 26, 2006
    10
    I enjoyed this album much more than I expected to. I was expecting a "Devils and Dust" like sound, but the 14 piece band intrigued me. What I heard was what so many folks have said, "an exuberant, reverent, joyous event". I heard several of these songs when I was young and even remember singing a couple in music class when I was in school. To the few that are complaining about a lack of I enjoyed this album much more than I expected to. I was expecting a "Devils and Dust" like sound, but the 14 piece band intrigued me. What I heard was what so many folks have said, "an exuberant, reverent, joyous event". I heard several of these songs when I was young and even remember singing a couple in music class when I was in school. To the few that are complaining about a lack of new rock n roll from Bruce.. Relax! From what I read he plans to record with E Street Band again. But, he is in his 50's and is trying new things. Sadly, you can't be 25 forever. If youtry to be you never grow as an artist. I really enjoy this CD and I think this willbe getting played a LOT more than his recent efforts. Expand
  41. ZackA
    Apr 26, 2006
    10
    He's still got it. He managed to pull out folk standards and add his own twist to them. It has this very whole sonic feel that The Rising unfortunately lacked.
  42. SgtPepper
    Apr 27, 2006
    10
    Great CD, but does anyone want to tell me what the NOW! Magazine is talking about? If they are looking for political Bruce, listen to "Devils and Dust". This is Springsteen at his most upbeat and great.
  43. JoeB
    Apr 27, 2006
    10
    Spetacular, powerful and fun album!
  44. ChrisF
    Apr 29, 2006
    9
    I was sceptical when I heard that Bruce Springsteen was putting out an album of traditional folk covers, but this album is completely different than I imagined it to be. This music is alive! It's up there with Bob Dylan's "Basement Tapes". It's incredible music with all of the rough edges still in, which is perfect for the material. But if you don't want to shout "Low I was sceptical when I heard that Bruce Springsteen was putting out an album of traditional folk covers, but this album is completely different than I imagined it to be. This music is alive! It's up there with Bob Dylan's "Basement Tapes". It's incredible music with all of the rough edges still in, which is perfect for the material. But if you don't want to shout "Low bridge, everybody down!" on "Erie Canal" I don't think any music will ever have that affect on you. Expand
  45. DashBlank
    Apr 29, 2006
    10
    What a great album... And yes, as Sgt. Pepper pointed out, I don't get the NOW! review. Here's what I wrote to the editor: "I wanted to send a quick comment about Perlich's recent review of Bruce Springsteen's "We Shall Overcome" album. If the writer doesn't like the music, or approach, on the CD, that's fine, of course. I do think, however, that his comment What a great album... And yes, as Sgt. Pepper pointed out, I don't get the NOW! review. Here's what I wrote to the editor: "I wanted to send a quick comment about Perlich's recent review of Bruce Springsteen's "We Shall Overcome" album. If the writer doesn't like the music, or approach, on the CD, that's fine, of course. I do think, however, that his comment about Springsteen's awareness of the war is a bit unfair. Over the past few years, Springsteen has been one of the few artists to draw attention to the war. In fact, his song about that very issue ("Devils and Dust") was recently nominated for a number of Grammy awards. At that ceremony, he was one of the only musicians to make a direct comment about the war, following his performance. Also, one could make a case that he included the pointed song "Mrs. McGrath" on the new album for its current meaning, as well. I don't usually write letters defending artists against reviewers--everyone's got a right to his or her view. I just thought that one comment was an unfounded low blow. Expand
  46. KathyH
    May 24, 2006
    9
    Coming from a group of appreciaters of old time music, I just can't get over Bruce Springsteen jamming with an old time band, touring with them, and getting the world acquainted with OLD DAN TUCKER. It is totally enjoyable to listen to. I love the thought of people world wide singing along with these songs. The folk musicians I know play to very small groups. How much fun to have THE Coming from a group of appreciaters of old time music, I just can't get over Bruce Springsteen jamming with an old time band, touring with them, and getting the world acquainted with OLD DAN TUCKER. It is totally enjoyable to listen to. I love the thought of people world wide singing along with these songs. The folk musicians I know play to very small groups. How much fun to have THE BOSS take charge on this one! And of course it is quit an oddity for my children to learn that their parents have bought a Bruce Springsteen album..... Expand
  47. Sep 26, 2013
    8
    The Boss indulges himself by taking a trip through time to visit some of his influences. It's a fascinating project that brings a set of classic folk songs (a perhaps artists)to a whole new generation. Parts of this remind me of Billy Bragg and Wilco's "Mermaid Avenue" project in that while this is a modern record its got a sound from another time.
    The majority of the songs on "We Shall
    The Boss indulges himself by taking a trip through time to visit some of his influences. It's a fascinating project that brings a set of classic folk songs (a perhaps artists)to a whole new generation. Parts of this remind me of Billy Bragg and Wilco's "Mermaid Avenue" project in that while this is a modern record its got a sound from another time.
    The majority of the songs on "We Shall Overcome" have a bluster and an energy about them that are tailor made for Springsteen's style and you can really see how this kind of music influenced him on his "Wrecking Ball" album. While I can't say I absolutely love this record (I just prefer Springsteen when he's doing his own thing), I don't think there is a bad track on it and it is an enjoyable listening experience. "Mrs McGrath" and "Pay Me My Money Down" are the standout tracks for me but the whole record is worth getting into.
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Metascore
82

Universal acclaim - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 25
  2. Negative: 0 out of 25
  1. Not only does We Shall Overcome feel different than Bruce's work; it also feels different than Seeger's music.... It's a rambunctious, freewheeling, positively joyous record unlike any other in Springsteen's admittedly rich catalog.
  2. Entertainment Weekly
    91
    We Shall Overcome lets us revel in the sound of a man who no longer confuses unplugged with uninspiring--and who isn't afraid to mix in some merriment with the message. [28 Apr 2006, p.134]
  3. The problem is that these songs are mostly too corny to have much drama restored to them. This is not folk music as mystery or romance or danger but as communal singalong.