Country Stephen Carradini
I discovered Jon Hardy and the Public via their 2007 tune “Cassius Clay,” which would have been my 2010 song of the year, had it come out then. Hardy’s sturdy yet emotive vocals against the vaguely twangy guitar-pop
structures created an immersive mood. The sleigh bells help, of course.
Watch and read along with the new Springsteen single.
The first single from Bruce Springsteen’s upcoming “Wrecking Ball” is out, and it’s got a lot of The Boss’s signature touches on it. Including, but not limited to: big-rock drums, rich strings and protest lyrics that’ll undoubtedly get adopted as a mantra by simpler-minded mainstream fans across America like “We take care of our own / Wherever this flag is flown.” With an evangelistic twist, he might as well have titled it “Born Again in the USA.”
Give “We Take Care of Our Own” a listen, and read along with the lyrics yourself. All this SOPA/PIPA, Occupy movement and corporate-bailout business has undoubtedly fueled the Jon Stewart-watching Springsteen into recording what an early press release described as his “angriest” album ever.
While it isn’t wholly predictable, I’m going to try my hand at forecasting the subject matter on “Wrecking Ball”’s tracklist:
1. “We Take Care of Our Own” — A pointed criticism leveled at the federal government’s lack of empathy toward the lower-middle class. (I had the benefit of, you know, actually listening to the song on this one.) 2. “Easy Money” — A biting rocker mocking the 1 percent. 3. “Shackled and Down” — An emotive, first-person drama about torture by waterboarding? 4. “Jack of All Trades” — A ballad about Joe the Plumber’s bid for office? 5. “Death to My Hometown” — A gray-hued love letter to a down-on-its-luck Asbury Park. 6. “The Depression” — The recession. 7. “Wrecking Ball” — Something about the subprime mortgage crisis? 8. “You’ve Got It” — A winsome love song set amid a recessing economy? 9. “Rocky Ground” — Your guess is as good as mine here. 10. “Land of Hope and Dreams” — Throwback to the pioneers, y’all! 11. “We Are Live” — A swelling piano anthem reminding the listener to embrace his or her democratic responsibilities?
“Wrecking Ball” is available for pre-order and set for release on March 6, on Columbia Records.
Music Hugh Foley Editor’s note: With Saturday marking Woody Guthrie’s 100th
birthday, we asked music scholar Hugh Foley for his take on why Guthrie
still matters. A professor at Rogers State University in Claremore,
Foley is the author of the Oklahoma Music Guide IIand a founding board member of the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame.