Indie Grandpa Answers the Hard Questions About Springsteen's New Single

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With news this week of Bruce Springsteen's upcoming album, Wrecking Ball, as well as a U.S. tour that will find him 'round Austin way for SXSW, we asked our resident old-days expert what he thought about the Boss' new stuff.

What do you think of the new Springsteen single, "We Take Care of Our Own"?
First of all, good morning everyone. I'm fairly upset about this. Clearly, we are long from the days of "Mansion on the Hill." After a first listen, I whispered to myself, "Calm down, lad, you've just heard the one song." The heavy producing really sent me down the rabbit hole! It was like Phil Spector's ghost shit his signature cascading wall of sound all over the track. Producer Ron Aniello, you can leave the rhythmic claps and children's choir to Guster, which you also produced. Congratulations on your success, Ron, and for the work you did on Lifehouse. Geez.

One more thing: the writing. The line, "Where's the promise from sea to shining sea" sounded more like a contagiously bad line from U2's "Miracle Drug." "Freedom has a scent /Like the top of a new born baby's head." Ugh.

Do you think the song is an "American anthem"? Should it replace the National Anthem?
I've been telling my friend Gus -- he lives out in the Puget Sound -- that performing the National Anthem is an "arcane act of American lunacy" for years. That's a direct quote from me, not Gus. Gus is too nice to say such things. Anyway, "Born to Run" is what should replace the National Anthem.

Do you think he should have stopped making albums after Nebraska?
God help me, yes. I'll make a one-time exception for "Streets of Philadelphia," due to the fact I own the pea coat he wore in that music video.

Is he still a "working-class hero"?
The real working-class heroes are the garbage men. They're the ones who deal in the tuck and muck of the people on this planet. I salute them, and I'm sure the Boss did too back in his early days. This new brand of Bruce Springsteen rage songs? No, I'm not a fan.

Personally, I'll take the deafening optimism of "Into the Fire," off the post-9/11 album The Rising, which I thought was merely OK. Still, it would be shameful to not mention the epic anthem to New York, love and work that is "Jungleland." That song alone cancels out many transgressions.

Who should he collaborate with for street cred?
I meandered over to Pitchfork a few evenings ago and heard this particularly fascinating band called "Akron/Family" (not sure if this an homage to some sort of math equation). They were good. Anyway, if I had my way, he'd collaborate with 1973 Elton John. You know, Tumbleweed Connection Elton John. Other than that, there's no one.



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8 comments
Steve
Steve

His canon is beyond reproach, and unlike the Stones, who I revere, his most recent work is kickass.   I'm just disappointed in the production on this one, the bells, etc.   I'd love to hear the song solo acoustic.

Jay Fatso Kay-Carson
Jay Fatso Kay-Carson

The song deserves to be a hit. I love the sarcastic "whereever this flag's flown" line. Bruce has kept his artistic tools sharp. He turns 63 years in september. On stage he can still match the Bob Dylan of 1975 or The Rolling Stones of 1979.

Darrylrs
Darrylrs

Nebraska was great. Everything else? Can you say overrated? Born in the USA was a horrible mess of a pop record.

Steve
Steve

How is it elitist???   He's not bandying about some obscure band, it's a qualitative assessment of an over-earnest crap song.   You can disagree with his opinion, but it's in no way elitist. I can just see Patti Scialfa with the Face of Determination as she really FEELS IT while she taps some fucking grade school music class wood block.

Dfhg
Dfhg

elitist much?

Steve
Steve

Spot-fucking-on.

Fireman
Fireman

Everything else?? Are you high or just stupid? Granted this new song and half a dozen off his last couple of albums truly suck but to disregard as "overrated" (what does that mean anyway? Overrated to you or to all reasonably informed and educated music lovers?) his entire songwriting and performing career reveals you to be wholly ignorant of Springsteen's career. It's like calling the Rolling Stones overrated except for 'Some Girls'.

Slippery Pete
Slippery Pete

there's this craze going round, called humor. Ever heard of it? No? Well, I'll send ya a pamphlet then...

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