Bruce Springsteen, ‘We Take Care of Our Own’ – Song Review
It's the big, thumping bass and tom tom drums, plus the heavy keys and guitar riff that drive this four-minute cut. The first 30 seconds are anthemic, every bit as good as 'Born in the U.S.A.' or 'Glory Days.'
Lyrically, Springsteen's intensely personal commitment to a greater social purpose gets in the way. His feel-good message about banding together to help out fellow Americans while the government stands idly on the sidelines is noble, but preachy.
"From Chicago to New Orleans, from muscle to the bone / From the shotgun shack to the Superdome / We yelled help but the calvary stayed home / There ain't no one hearing the bugle blown / We take care of our own / We take care of our own / Wherever this flag is flown / We take care of our own," Springsteen sings in his familiar rumble.
The unavoidable resentment in lines like "We yelled help but the cavalry stayed home" is where Springsteen sacrifices hit-potential for a personal message. That tone of voice will sound better to some of us than others, but few want to wallow in negativity forever, even if he is right.
"We're the eyes, the eyes with the will to see / We're the hearts that run over with mercy / Where's the love that has not forsaken me / Where's the work that will set my hands, my soul free / Where's the spirit that reign, reign over me / Where's the promise from sea to shining sea / Where's the promise from sea to shining sea," he adds as the song builds to a climax.
There's little to question about the legendary rocker's passion and knowledge for what he preaches, and he has plenty to be proud of with this first preview of 'Wrecking Ball.' The production and symphonic instrumentation are masterful -- a heavy keyboard seems to fill the space that might have once been set aside for Clarence Clemons -- but his somewhat simplistic message isn't the stroke of an artist.