Today sees the release of Bruce Springsteen's newest album, the compact and confounding Wrecking Ball, his first since 2009's Working On a Dream. Recorded and inspired partly by the recent Occupy protests, with most songs coming before the movement was even a physical thing, in any other year it could be a readymade hit.
Is Wrecking Ball a grand treatise on the Great Recession and the fabric and resolve of America in 2012? No, for everyone who just now tuned in, this is all just standard Springsteen operating procedure. I keep reading in other reviews about some sort of fire and grit that these other listeners keep hearing through the album's 11 tracks, but I hear that maybe once or twice.
He's definitely been soaking in the vibes from bands like the Arcade Fire, Gaslight Anthem, Against Me! and the like, who have taken his template into the 21st century, injecting a youthful bite to this album.