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Bruce Springsteen: Wrecking Ball

Bruce Springsteen
Wrecking Ball
(Columbia)

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Anyone who stayed up late enough last Friday to catch the grand finale of Bruce Springsteen Week on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon knows one thing – Bruce’s still got it.

Taking over the entire hour of the show, Bruce performed a sketch with Jimmy then sat down for an interview. Immediately following, Bruce played a half-hour set with the E Street Band and guest musician Tom Morello from Rage Against the Machine. They kicked things off with two songs from Bruce’s new album, “Death to My Hometown” and “Jack of All Trades,” and then finished with Bruce’s 1973 funky classic, “The E Street Shuffle.”

This performance was a fantastic preview of Bruce’s great new album, Wrecking Ball. The new album finds Bruce in his typical blue collar and now Occupy Wall Street-inspired glory as he mixes rock and roll sounds with folk and gospel. The album is angry, roaring and ready to fight back. It kicks off with pounding drums and screaming guitar on “We Take Care of Our Own,” a Bruce anthem at its finest. Another great track is “Death to My Hometown,” which features a full brass section and has almost a Revolutionary War-era sound to it, but with a rock base.

What’s so particularly great about Bruce these days though is how much he still really seems to love singing his songs in front of huge crowds that are mouthing every word right back. All the passion and anger and believability are still as present in his performances as they were when he first started back in 1972.

Though I believe in taste, preference and all that, I also believe that some musicians, empirically speaking, are just better. For one, he creates not just great singles, but amazing full albums. Second, his live shows have some of the greatest energy I’ve ever felt. Third, he sticks up for the little guy and his great state of New Jersey. Forth, at age 62 his voice still sounds great, unlike more than a few of his contemporaries (sorry, Dylan…). And fifth, he still keeps reinventing his sound and gives each album he releases a unique feel.

For fans of Bruce, picking up this new album is a no-brainer. It’s classic Bruce rock and roll at its finest.

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About Julie Kocsis

Julie Kocsis is Associate Editor and a contributing writer of ShortAndSweetNYC.com. Living in Brooklyn, she works for Penguin Random House during the day and writes about rock bands at night. In addition to her many band interviews as well as album and concert reviews that have been published on ShortAndSweetNYC.com, she has also been published on The Huffington Post, Brooklyn Exposed and the Brooklyn Rail.
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