The audio: Bruce Springsteen has a history of giving musical voice to the anxieties of the 99 percent. "Born in the USA" tackled the struggle to achieve the American dream, while 2001's "The Rising" captured the need to build a country worth protecting in a post-9/11 world. Now, as the U.S. endures a feeble economy and a contentious election, The Boss releases another politically-themed song "We Take Care of Our Own." (Listen to it below.) With lyrics like, "Wherever this flag's flown/we take care of our own," this quintessential Springsteen track doubles as "a protest song [and]... a rousing patriotic anthem." Though typically pro-American, it's also a scathing reminder of what those in power owe the American people. "We Take Care of Our Own" is off of Springsteen's 25th studio album Wrecking Ball, which he claims is "angriest yet," and will be released March 6.
The reaction: "Could there be a more Springsteen-esque subject than" hard times in America, says Jim Farber at The Daily News. The song is so predictable that "Springsteen-phobes" will surely roll their eyes, and even fans might agree that it "comes all too close to self-satire." That said, counters Scott Mervis at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the lyrics are "passionate and powerful." Unfortunately, this may be "Born in the USA" all over again, says Chris Willman at The Wrap. The '80s hit, perhaps "the most misunderstood song of all time," was misappropriated by politicians like Ronald Reagan who seemed deaf to lyrics about "American promises unfulfilled." Expect "We Take Care of Our Own" to be misguidedly embraced "as a conservative anthem," too. Listen for yourself:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 5 legitimate scientific controversies
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 10 things you need to know today: October 2, 2014
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How liberals are unwittingly paving the way for the legalization of adult incest
- Libertarianism's terrible, horrible, no good, very bad idea
- Ted Cruz is the new Sarah Palin
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- How to improve your workplace culture
- Stop your unpatriotic fearmongering over ISIS
Subscribe to the Week