MusicMarch 15, 2012 at 5:18 am

While You Were Out

An inexhaustive summary of what happened in the music world over break.

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band – those legendary rockers from Jersey – came out with their 17th studio album last week. The Boss, best known for 80s working–class ballads like “Born in the USA,” returns to familiar themes on Wrecking Ball. Capitalizing on today’s fertile Wall Street v. Main Street tropes, he loads the album with fiercely political protest music, buoyed by hard–driving hooks, gritty flairs and Springsteen’s own classic voice. The Boss is back, in vigorous form – and he’s always worth a listen.
Check out: “Death to My Hometown” and “We Are Alive”

Singer–songwriter Andrew Bird also released a full–length last week, entitled Break It Yourself, his seventh as a solo artist. The accomplished folk rocker is a gifted arranger, incorporating a diverse array of instruments, from the glockenspiel to his own whistling. He also shows off his unique lyricism, with distinct flairs for the literary and abstract. Ultimately, the world of this album is creative and at times perplexing, but ultimately inviting.
Check out: “Lusitania” and “Hole in the Ocean Floor”

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