|Los Angeles Times|||
The Ghost of Tom Joad received mostly favorable reviews. Mikal Gilmore of Rolling Stone called it "Springsteen's best album in ten years," and considered it "among the bravest work that anyone has given us this decade." However, it reached only number 11 on the Billboard 200, breaking a string of eight consecutive Top 5 studio albums in the United States for Springsteen.
In The Village Voice's annual Pazz & Jop critics poll for the year's best albums, The Ghost of Tom Joad placed at #8 in the voting. Robert Christgau, the poll's creator, commended the album for being "the most courageous and the most depressing of the year," pointing out that Springsteen was the only artist in the poll's top 40 "to directly address the war on the poor (and, increasingly, what is called the middle class) that is now the political agenda of the industrialized