Today is a good day for rock fans of all ages. Bruce Springsteen’s Wrecking Ball and The Men’s Open Your Heart comes out today, and both albums are worth their money’s worth.
The Boss’s latest album continues the trend of well-produced albums that focuses Springsteen as a rock-veteran doing whatever the hell he wants. Wrecking Ball has more bite, both lyrically and sonically, than 2009’s Working On A Dream, but the songs don’t stand out as well as 2007’s Magic (there are no “Girls In Their Summer Clothes” here). It would be foolish to say that The Boss is coasting on Wrecking Ball, but he’s well aware that he doesn’t have to try too hard anymore (he’s Bruce Springsteen people!). Much like all his work starting in the 90s, this is an album with Bruce doing exactly what he wants to do, and there’s nothing wrong with that, especially because this is one of the better albums. Also keep in mind that a good Springsteen album is better than 87.3% of “rock” albums that come out in a given year.
Check out the lead single “We Take Care Of Our Own” below.
For all you younger rock fans out there, let me sell you on The Men. Now if you’re an avid Pitchfork follower then you are probably familiar with these lads. This band has been gaining some serious momentum over the past couple of years and have established a devoted following (at least in the blogosphere). But this probably doesn’t mean anything to you if you’ve never heard their music. The best way I can describe The Men (in terms of Open Your Heart) is early Foo Fighters with more focus on the atmosphere rather than the lyrics or songwriting. The album has a nice balance of aggressive guitar-rock and slowed-down jams, and I call them jams because some of these songs have no lyrics (“Country Song” is the prime example). They still have that indie-rock flavor that makes them cool, but they have just enough rock in them to actually appeal to a wider audience.
Check out “Turn It Around” below.
Go out and buy these excellent albums, and remember to support your local record store!