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. 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
  2. BoF
    Apr 25, 2006
    10
    Pure fun......
  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!
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.