Kyle Smith in the New York Post has some fun with the new Springsteen single, "Working on a Dream," which he feels augurs a frightful new era of songs in which Bruce is happy with the world as it is.
There is a bracing consistency in Springsteenian gloom, from the Ford years ("The street's on fire, a real death waltz") to Carter's ("Lately there ain't been much work on account of the economy") to Reagan's ("This old world is rough, it's just getting rougher") to the first Bush's ("Ain't no mercy on the streets of this town, ain't no bread from heavenly skies") to Clinton's ("Oh brother are you gonna leave me wastin' away on the streets of Philadelphia?") to the second Bush's ("Woke up Election Day, skies gunpowder and shades of gray"). If the Boss has a motto, it has always been this: No hope, no change, no way.The song's now available on iTunes. Here's the live debut from an Obama event last month, which frankly I think sounds significantly better than the single. (I love him, but the Boss tends to overproduce the studio albums. It's true.)
What's his next song going to be called - "Goodlands"? Will universal pre-K childcare give us "Junglegymland?" I for one am not looking forward to "Tenth Avenue Love-In," "Happy Heart" or "57 Channels (and a Lot of It Is Really Interesting Interviews with Cabinet Members About How They're Going to Improve Everyone's Job, School, and Personal Dignity)." Instead of looking for inspiration to John Steinbeck to make "Ghost of Tom Joad" or to Pete Seeger for covers of one of the old let's-make-a-union-that'll-one-day-destroy-the-car-industry songs, could Bruce take a Lauperian turn and surmise that we're all just "Born to Have Fun"?