In Friday’s USA Today, music critic Edna Gundersen became the latest liberal journalist to hail the new Springsteen album as a 2012 soundtrack for Barack Obama as the Boss goes on “a tear to raze Wall Street and raise Main Street.” (Earth to Edna: Springsteen earns tens of millions a year. Would you dare to check his stock portfolio?)
Gundersen gushed that the new album’s “populist anthems are unlikely to be misinterpreted and appropriated by Republican candidates. President Obama, however, has a ready-made campaign playlist.” She called it his “most politically pointed” work yet."
But what’s politically “pointed” about somehow putting all the blame for a “tattered and toxic economy” on financiers and zero on President Obama? She said Springsteen was “stomping with fury yet crackling with jubilation as its protagonists scramble for lifelines out of a tattered and toxic economy.”
She oozed: "The messages — biting, unambiguous and in language often drawn from the Bible — focus on unemployment, crooked banks and the decaying American Dream. Rage and despair fuel these tunes, but an uplifting chorus is always just around the corner." Obama is apparently the uplift, not the target of despair. She concluded:
For all its joyous noisemaking and impassioned calls to action, a thread of resignation runs through Wrecking Ball. In Jack of All Trades, Springsteen sings, "The banker man grows fat, working man grows thin/It's all happened before and it'll all happen again."
Maybe so, but for now Springsteen offers inspiration and motivation for anyone inclined to join his struggle against injustice and escapism for those content to ride out the storm.