Message is subtitled in Bruce Springsteen's 'Take Care of Our Own'
The video for Bruce Springsteen's "We Take Care of Our Own" was released Friday morning in advance of the artist's appearance Sunday at the Grammy Awards. It corrects at least one basic misunderstanding about the song.
By superimposing the lyrics over the mostly stark, black-and-white images -- music video-speak for 'this is important' -- the clip makes it clear that this is no uplifting anthem, despite the song's tour-ready shout-outs to American cities and repeated flag-waving imagery.
The first single from Springsteen's upcoming "Wrecking Ball," due March 6, "We Take Care of Our Own" is a reason to be optimistic for the forthcoming release, albeit tentatively so. It sees Springsteen in social commentary mode, which is welcome for these recessionary times, but opts for broad vagueries rather than a clear statement.
In fact, the song's hair-raising riff, hand-claps and Springsteen's chest-pumps in the video, make it too easy to miss the message. "The cavalry stayed home," Springsteen sings after two references to New Orleans. Still, after the nod to Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts, Springsteen largely stays clear of politics.
Springsteen's tour is selling out as tickets go on sale, and "We Take Care of Our Own" is a satisfactory teaser for the arena-rock experience. It's designed for mass appeal, built with sing-songy lyrics such as "from sea to shining sea" and bright keyboard accents. Ultimately, the song and the video play into Springsteen's working-class hero image, yet the common-man approach ultimately obscures the song's more progressive tendencies.
Watch the video below:
-- Todd Martens
Image: Screen shot from Springsteen's "We Take Care of Our Own" video.