Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Bruce Springsteen - High Hopes

People unfairly slag on this albumn as random collection of cuts, but the title track gives a unifying principle, a string theory of Springsteen's catalog, of showing shreds of hope among the wreckage of despair.

This sting theory, of course, comes from the later, darker period of Bruce's work. Ironic this comes as he got richer and richer. Perhaps parenthood increased his existential angst, because you hope for the best for your kids while readingr in daily newspapers of the worst that can happen.

One of the worst that can happen would have your offsprig die in a useless war in Indochina, or worse still, have the flesh of your flesh still missing in Mekong Delta, as happened to mid 60's New Jersey guitar god, Walter Chicon, whom Bruce idolized, as recounted on the song "The Wall."

There Bruce fictionalized feelings from a visit himself to the Viet Nam war memorial, telling the story from a war widow's point of view, after he visited wisting wiyh wife Patti Scialfa.

He contrasts the widow's life with those of the war criminal architects of the Second Indochines War. Bruce did not name names so I will: guys like Henry Damn Kissinger, who can't leave the USA because he'd get hauled to the Haig for his crimes against humanity, including genocide in Indonesia, a monster in almost human form eating off fine china with sterling utensils while she carries her grief alone.

So although Bruce had this song for a while, it fits here, pierces the heart, and reminds us all we just count for another name on or brick in the wall.

Plus, Tom Morello shreds on guitar, doing things to it heretofore thought impossible, like on "Ghost of Tom Joad," an old song with new pyrotechnics.

"Arm the Homeless," indeed!

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