Bruce Springsteen's New Album 'Wrecking Ball' Released, Streaming For Free Listening (Audio)

Wrecking Ball Bruce Springsteen - H 2012

Wrecking Ball Bruce Springsteen - H 2012

The Jersey rocker rings populist anthems in his new solo effort.

The Boss is back, and he's sticking it to the man.

Bruce Springsteen's new album, Wrecking Ball, hit record stores and digital shelves on Tuesday, boasting a powerful message that reminds listeners why the megastar is both a legend of arena stages and union halls.

Channeling the angst and and spirit of blue collar America, the album mixes big guitars, folk-tinged working tunes and Springsteen's gravelly voice in an effort to redefine and re-set the course of an America he sees as increasingly divided by massive rifts in financial equality.

The album's first single, "We Take Care of Our Own," was written two years ago, amidst the initial economic collapse, and now serves as a clarion call for a more caring, inclusuive nation, as the debate in Washington so often focuses on small fixes and the small social furors of the day.

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Many of the tracks play on that same theme: in "Jack of All Trades," Springsteen assumes the voice of the unemployed, down and out manual labor worker; "Wrecking Ball" boasts pride in the toughness and resilience of the workers in his native Garden State; "Shackled and Drawn" fights against a seemingly insurmountable economic crushing; and "Death to My Hometown" is a dark -- even comedically so -- dirge set to celtic pipes

While the E Street Band did not participate in the recording, Springsteen's longtime partners will again hit the road with him to support the album, with a tour set to begin on March 18 in Atlanta. Before that, Springsteen will play at the South by Southwest Festival in Austin. The band, which suffered the loss of longtime saxophone player Clarence Clemons last June, announced earlier in the month that Clemons' nephew Jake Clemons would share duties on the instrument on the tour.

Take a listen to the album below, which is streaming through Tuesday night: