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A first listen to Bruce Springsteen's "We Take Care Of Our Own"

A first listen to Bruce Springsteen's "We Take Care Of Our Own"
John Mulvey

Following on from yesterday’s news story about the new Bruce Springsteen album “Wrecking Ball”, “We Take Care Of Our Own” has surfaced this morning.

I spotted a tweet overnight from one of our writers in the States, Bud Scoppa, who noted, “Re new Bruce cut: he's just copying The War On Drugs. Loving Slave Ambient after getting hooked on "Baby Missiles" off Uncut '11 best comp.”

There’s certainly something akin to the War On Drugs’ whirring, reverberant depth of field on “We Take Care Of Our Own” (the intro, especially), though to these ears it seems to continue the mix of muscular celebration and vintage pop reverence that was so prominent on both “Working On A Dream” and the buried treasures of “The Promise”. Most strikingly – and the internet confirms that I’m hardly the first to spot this – the refrain is naggingly similar to “Always Something There To Remind Me”, or perhaps “Needles And Pins”.

There’s a sense too – on my first couple of listens, at least – that this first single from “Wrecking Ball” has something of “Born In The USA”; a state-of-the-nation anthem that juxtaposes national pride with a sorrowful indictment of the current situation. It’s explicit in the lyrics – “The road of good intentions has gone dry as bone”, “We yelled ‘help’ but the cavalry stayed home”, and, frequently reasserted, “Where's the promise, from sea to shining sea?”

Whether these nuances will be picked up by the entirety of a fist-pumping stadium crowd remains to be seen: as with so many of Springsteen’s most heartfelt and cunning big songs, there’s something here for everyone. Not least a tune that’ll stick in your head for the rest of the year. Have a listen, please, and let’s talk about it.

Follow me on Twitter: @JohnRMulvey


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