Music Review: Bruce Springstein



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Bruce Springstein


The Rising


[Columbia Records]

I'm torn, and I don't think I'm the only one. Part of me really wants to care what everyone thinks about 9/11, but I just can't motivate myself to make it happen. Today in the news, the widows of the victims of The Tragedy joined forces to battle terrorism in the most American of ways: through a largely symbolic and pointless lawsuit for $116 trillion dollars. For the sake of perspective, the US National Debt is a mere $6 trillion dollars. Maybe if they win, they can all buy new outfits for the next time they appear on "Larry King!"

Now, no one is going to come straight out and say "hey, I'm making a boatload of cash off this whole Tragedy thing," but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out when it's going down. First of all, announce your suffering. Don't just mourn privately-do it in front of as many people as possible. Praise good ol' Yankee values, the shtick and stereotypes that define our culture. Beat-up cars, and drive-in movies, and apple pies, and makin' love under an orange Kentucky sky. And, now, my problem ain't with muslims. Muslims is god-fearin' people, and the Core-Ann teaches love jiss' like the bible. But an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind, y'hear?

The Boss has a pretty good gig going right now. He's been anointed "the poet laureate of 9/11," and "The Rising" is a whole goddamned album filled with claims to the position. It took him eleven months to rush out a whole album-full of ruminations on the damaged (but still proud!) spirit of our people, including post-production, a major marketing campaign, etc. He even managed to pull the E Street Band back into the studio, after all these years. And, admittedly, they sound as good as ever. But I don't buy it. Maybe Bruce will heal a million spirits with the power of his music and his message, but the whole thing just rubs me the wrong way. I can heal on my own time, I don't need his help, and he doesn't need my money.

Michael Baker

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