Bruce Springsteen‘s Wrecking Ball album, released last week, debuts at #1 on Billboard, squeaking by Adele‘s 21. Wrecking Ball sold 196,000 copies to 21‘s 195,000. This marks the tenth time that Springsteen has topped the album charts.
There’s been a minor press blitz behind the album’s release: Springsteen debuted the first single, “We Take Care Of Our Own” at the Grammy Awards last month. He was recently the focus of a week-long tribute on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon (which featured Springsteen performing with The E Street Band, and other artists performing his songs during the week), and he is on the cover of the new Rolling Stone, interviewed in the issue by Jon Stewart. (One of the highlights: Stewart mentioned that The New York Times referred to “We Take Care Of Our Own” as “jingoistic,” to which Bruce responded “Whoever said that, they need a smarter pop writer.”)
Nearly every major music publication has reviewed Wrecking Ball, with reviews ranging all over the spectrum. Rolling Stone gave the album it’s coveted 5 out of 5 stars, saying “It may be a sign of how hard optimism is to come by that Springsteen covers himself here – reviving ‘Land of Hope and Dreams’ – to insist all is not lost. He makes a glorious case.” The Chicago Tribune, however gave it 2 out of 4 stars, saying “As is the case with a number of Springsteen albums lately, the production feels stiff and forced, straining for grandeur.” The L.A Times quips that Springsteen “doesn’t always get it right” and The Wall Street Journal splits the difference between both sides of the debate, saying “Occasionally, his criticisms aimed at institutional foes tread into well-worn territory and cliché. But for its urgency, the breadth of the music performed admirably by the ad-hoc group of musicians, and how Mr. Springsteen is determined to inspire brotherhood with what he perceives as traditional American and Christian ideals, Wrecking Ball is a triumph.”
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band kick off their tour Sunday night March 18 in Atlanta.