Wrecking Ball - Bruce Springsteen
User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 52 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 45 out of 52
  2. Negative: 4 out of 52

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  1. bjk
    Mar 8, 2012
    10
    Masterpiece. The critic review variance is huge. The negative review sounds like it was written by Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly or Rush Limbaugh. Some of the mixed reviews sound like they are stuck in the past and just want the same old Bruce they fell in love with in 1975. This album has some beautiful nuances in the music. I keep discovering new ones everytime I listen to it. The lyrics are very angry and powerful. One Springsteen's best in a long time. Expand
  2. Mar 9, 2012
    10
    This is a album America needs to hear. It's a great great album. Filled with soul. It's a must have classic Springsteen. It's about hope and getting over the lows in life. After hearing the music on this album you can't help but to hold your head high in to the air.
  3. Mar 6, 2012
    10
    the great return of the "boss", which in this climate majestual work shows a darker and a heavy weight on his lyrics. has a high level of production and is highly recommended.
  4. Mar 6, 2012
    10
    A masterpiece! The aural equivalent of Walter Huston dancing a jig at the end of "The Treasure of Sierra Madre". Emboldened by and standing shoulder to shoulder with Sweet Souls Departed, Springsteen amalgamates American folk, Irish protest and gospel music with rock and roll to create a powerful inspiring sound that calls us to action. "Now get yourself a song to sing..sing it hard and sing it well" - he implores us to besiege the financial criminals that destroyed our economies in pursuit of 8 figure bonuses. He reminds us we are not alone, that the good men who compose the human legacy and God stand with us. Let's dance! Expand
  5. Mar 6, 2012
    10
    In terms of sheer cohesiveness and intent, this album ranks high among Bruce's post-Tunnel of Love (1987) releases. He sings with such urgency and passion that it's nearly impossible not to get swept up in its cinematic beauty. As always, Mr. Springsteen connects with his listeners in a primordial, guttural fashion. An eclectic collection of songs, this record pushes Bruce outside his usual comfort zone with great results. Expand
  6. Mar 7, 2012
    10
    Bruce Springsteen made a great record, I like the music, the lyrics and the fact that is always pushing himself to try something new in is music. Thanks Bruce see you soon!!!!
  7. Mar 6, 2012
    10
    This is the liveliest "solo" Springsteen album I have heard. Nice mixture of his recent "Seeger Sessions" influences mixed into his E Street sound. Reading the lyrics,once can see where the perception that this is an angry album comes from. I also think it is ultimately a hopeful one. Will be looking forward to seeing these songs being played by the E Street Band. They will be missing Tom Morello's masterfulplaying but I am confident Nils Lofgren and Bruce will fill in the gaps! I would rank this in his top 5, along with (in no order) Darkness, Tunnel of Love, Born to Run, and the Live LP! Expand
  8. MES
    Mar 7, 2012
    10
    I've followed Springsteen from many years and admittedly liked his earlier records more than his recent ones. Magic represented a return to form. Working on a Dream was one step back (Lead off with 'Outlaw Pete'? Really?). But he's taken two strong steps forward with Wrecking Ball. These are very substantial songs. Beautifully crafted. He's experimenting with some interesting new sounds and perhaps, as been suggested by others, borrowing from Arcade Fire who admit to having borrowed from him. Perhaps there's something to musical incest. Nonetheless, this album requires at least four listenings before its magic hits you like a, well, like a wrecking ball. Powerful stuff. Expand
  9. May 19, 2012
    10
    after all these years Bruce Springsteen is always the best in my heart and I think is the best so many hearts and souls all over the world. I love the boss and I will always do
  10. Oct 18, 2012
    10
    A strong effort from "The Boss". Great songs include We Take Care of Our Own, Shackled and Drawn, Jack of All Trades, Wrecking Ball, Rocky Ground, Land of Hope and Dreams, and the bonus track American Land. The lyrics are great and a tribute to the 99%.
  11. Oct 28, 2013
    10
    I had never really listened to Bruce until I came across this album, but this album is one of those that I can listen to from start to finish without skipping a track. Instantly went into my top albums of all time list. Thank you Bruce.
  12. Mar 8, 2012
    9
    The Boss seemingly writes great songs without effort. Wrecking Ball is another great collection of tracks. The more listens you give it the better it gets. The Boss takes his trademark sound and adds a nice blend of folk in with the the mix here. The lead single, "We Take Care of Our Own" is no classic anthem despite it best efforts to be, but there is plenty of big tunes on here. Lyrically, it's a good as he's ever been. It's not quite a perfect record but guaranteed to be one of the best you'll listen to this year. I say that confidently and it's early March so that says it all really. The level of this man's consistency is amazing and he really is a true "hall of famer". Expand
  13. Mar 6, 2012
    9
    A fan of Bruce for longer than I care to remember. Easily his best since The Rising (thought Magic was good, not a fan of Working On A Dream), but not near the genius of the Nebraska or Darkness albums. As mentioned elsewhere, the tone is angry, empathising with the travails of the working man in the ongoing difficult times. That empathy may seem somewhat hollow, coming from a millionaire rock star, but how many other serious musicians have vented their spleen with the same venom? Like the way the Seeger album sounds feature on a number of the tracks, complimenting rather than dominating. Expand
  14. Mar 9, 2013
    9
    Bruce succeded in making another great album. All the songs are very good, although Wrecking Ball and Land Of Hope And Dreams (I love both) were already known. I really like the folk sound of some of the songs (Easy Money, Shakle and Drawn, Death To My Hometown, We are Alive), and the more classic Springsteen's songs like We Take Care Of Our Own (the best of the record). All the songs will be also better in live performances! Expand
  15. Dec 9, 2012
    9
    The Boss is the nickname. Full name: Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen. This is his 17th major studio album. Twenty Grammys, Golden Globes, Emmy Awards, and Oscars during his musical career and still counting. This album indirectly helped Barack Obama to have his presidential running for the second time. Obama should thank The Boss. Were you aware that The Democrat Party used one of his song as their theme song? Along with Fleetwood Mac Expand
  16. Mar 6, 2012
    8
    A Rich Man in a Poor Man's Shirt, 5 Mar 2012

    I have followed Bruce since one of my best friends brought us early mixes of his first album from Greetings - he worked at 914 in Westchester, a new studio Columbia set up to record cheaper albums from newer acts. All of my friends were musicians, and I was a songwriter/frontman, less than a year younger than Bruce. Needless to say, I was
    jealous when I heard him, angry when I saw him live at the Bottom Line a few months later. 'No way I'll ever be that good', I thought.

    17 albums later, he is one of the world's pre-eminent stars, one of the few who, by himself can fill any sized stadium. Yet he still writes songs like 'a rich man in a poor man's shirt.' Success could have killed him, but it turned him inwards. Every album since his breakthrough album 'Born to Run', Bruce has put lipstick on the pig of his essential biblical pessimism, anger and need for Catholic redemption. From 'Darkness','The River' 'Nebraska', 'Born in the USA', 'Tunnel of Love' and then 'The Rising' - all have found the Boss in the same dark mood. For Bruce, politics is personal, and 'Wrecking Ball' brings the irony of the depressed multi-millionaire -who charges huge sums for his live performances, so much so that I will never see him live again - with his most overt angry album.

    Bruce is very smart and authentic - but its taken him over 4 years to vent his anger with this album, much later than the much less rich Ry Cooder. Taken as a whole, the record is very good, a satisfyingly rich stew of folk, rock, gospel, etc. Like all his recent inferior albums, it is overproduced and mushy, but his wonderful voice seems better produced than on the mediocre 'Working On a Dream' and the somewhat better 'Magic.'

    Clearly, Bruce needs a clear theme to write about these days - 'The Rising' had 9/11(a much more timely 2002 release) and this one has the crisis of 2008 (think how long it took before the Occupy movement kick started this one). One should not be too churlish. Standout tracks include 'Wrecking Ball' , 'We Take Care of Our Own', 'Jack of All Trades', and the gorgeous 'Land of Hopes and Dreams' (say goodbye to Clarence on this one). There is not a lot wrong with it, and there is so much right. The writing is very direct - no room for mis-interpretation here. I prefer his more poetic style found on most of the better 'Rising' songs.

    He wants to kill the rich - but he IS the rich. Be careful what you wish for, Bruce. He is too bright not to be aware of it, but too greedy to stop charging a king's ransom for his sold out, £75 a ticket concerts. Buy the album, I guess - it's good enough.

    Bruce, you should just cover your costs when you tour, especially behind this one. Hypocrisy is not what you had in mind all those years ago - an authentic voice is what you promised.
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  17. JMU
    Mar 6, 2012
    8
    "Wrecking Ball" takes what's best from Bruce's recent output and parlays it into a powerful political broadside. This record boasts the edge, urgency and focus of "Magic," the eclectic sonic landscape of "Working on a Dream" (and then some), the rambling Americana vibe of the Seeger Sessions and, yes, the ambition of "The Rising." The result isn't a perfect record, but a damn good one whose high points match the best of his output over the last 10 years with the exception of "The Rising" and "My City of Ruins," two tracks that probably rank in his all-time top 20 or so. Collapse
  18. Mar 31, 2012
    7
    Bruce Springsteen and his seventeenth album "Wrecking Ball" is the story of the post-crisis America. Although the lyrics is pretty decent, you can still dismiss certain songs. Most of the material is correct, but unfortunately only correct. Some songs may be only claim to a "radio-friendly songs" title. Fortunately, there are also outstanding compositions like widely known "Streets Of Philadelfia" - "Rocky Ground", a little celtic "Death to My Hometown" or the pathetic title track "Wrecking Ball". Expand
  19. Sep 24, 2012
    6
    The ballads drag, but the anthems are rousing and joyous even when the sentiments are not. "Death To My Hometown" might even top the Pretenders' "My City Was Gone" as the best song ever in whatever tiny sub-genre we might call this.
  20. Mar 9, 2012
    6
    "Wrecking Ball" is as close to the Springsteen I grew up with as any record I've heard by him in years. Does this make it a great record? Yes, and no. I'm glad he still has it in him to make good records, but the "angry working man" routine has worn off for me. Springsteen is a millionaire tens, if not hundreds, of times over and it's simply exhausting to listen to him mumble over and over while trying to convince his legions of fans he still understands what it's like to live paycheck to paycheck.

    If you love Bruce, you'll love this. If you're a casual fan, skip it.
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  21. Mar 21, 2012
    0
    Absolutley garbage, the same pointless drivel he's put out of the last 20 years. Bruce needs to come up with something orignal instead of rehashing and slapping a new title on the album..
Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 41 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 41
  2. Negative: 1 out of 41
  1. Apr 26, 2012
    89
    Wrecking Ball spins Springsteen's most focused work since 2002's The Rising and most defiant and hooky since 1984's Born in the U.S.A.
  2. Apr 11, 2012
    70
    The 62-year old Springsteen sounds every bit the angry, empathetic and impassioned social commentator he was on post-Y2K rockers like The Rising and Magic. [No.86, p.57]
  3. Mar 28, 2012
    90
    More than anything, Wrecking Ball is a record with heart.