On first listen to “Rocky Gound” it sounds like a song that was leftover from The Rising. And it was left off for good reason. It just leaves a lot to be desired. There isn’t much to speak of musically as it’s mostly drum and piano. The lyrics are almost too “Bruce-esque” if that makes sense. The clear struggle of the working class, religious imagery, and social unbalance have been commonplace in Bruce’s past songs, especially on this album. There’s just nothing that sets this apart from other songs.
Then comes the ending of the song, with a “hip-hop influenced” verse, as it was described in the previews. I absolutely hate it. I respect that Bruce is trying to branch off and try new influences but this was a big swing and a miss. I hope that he doesn’t try it again.
The best part about Wrecking Ball, as an album, it seems like most of the songs will go over big as part of a live show. Even a song like “Rocky Ground”, that I’m not too crazy about, I can definitely see being sang along with in packed arenas on the upcoming tour.
By the way, does anyone know who the female singer is in the chorus to the sound? Definitely does not sound like Soozie Tyrell or Patti.