Keep Dallas Observer Free

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

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.

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

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.

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.