'We're going to build a house. We're going to take fear and build a house of love; we're going to take sadness and build a house of joy; we're going to take doubt and build a house of faith; we're going to take despair and build a house of hope.'
It was with these words that the Boss whipped the assembled masses into a frenzy on his last world tour, titled Working on a Dream. Well the Boss is back, and if anything, the world is in need of even more hope than it was three years ago. This time, rather than an album preaching hope,Wrecking Ball is a call to arms, an appeal to shake up the system, from a man who sees injustice all around him, and won't stand by and let it continue.
This journey from hope and optimism to the need for action to create change is one seen in Springsteen's earlier work. While Born to Run was a youthful album of reckless abandon, wild dreams and open highways, the work that followed was far bleaker, culminating in his slamming of the American dream on 'Born in the USA'.
Wrecking Ball is an album that denounces rhetoric, that says our words are not enough, but that something has to be done. It's not enough to imagine a house, but as the Boss would say, we've got to build a house.
The album was heavily inspired by Springsteen's dealing with the Occupy movement, a group of people so passionate about the direction they saw Western civilisation heading in that they weren't prepared just to say something about it, instead their very lives became a statement.
You may disagree with the ideas and methods of the group, but surely there is something to be admired in someone so committed to a cause that they'll move into a tent for it. So what do we as Church say do about this? Are we still stuck in an age of rhetoric where inspiring words are seen as enough? Perhaps we need the kind of wake-up call that Springsteen appears to have had over the last couple of years, to stand up and point out the hurt, the fear and the injustice and build a house of hope, of love, and of faith. The Church has historically been a people of action, a group creating change rather than talking about it; perhaps we need to rediscover that drive.
Bruce is angry, and he wants to do something about it. The title tracks presents a challenge: 'So if you got the guts mister… If you think it's your time, then step to the line, and bring on your wrecking ball'. Has the Church got the guts? It's time for the Church to stop talking, it's time for the Church to step up, to create change even if means creating havoc. Bring on the wrecking ball.