The Friday Morning Listen: Bruce Springsteen, "We Take Care Of Our Own" (2012)

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Well, what a couple of crazy days it’s been. First we get the surprise (but long overdue) announcement of the new Springsteen single and album, then the actual release of the song, and then the expected frothing of the dogs of disappointment. They’d be entertaining if they weren’t so pathetic. Since I didn’t actually engage any of them, my time was spent floating on the sea of emotions that usually accompany such events.

Shortly after the actual announcement, I had to start making plans for the midnight purchase. This means that I had to figure out which one of my laptops (work or home) had that annoying Amazon downloader doohickie installed. I couldn’t remember because it’s only been used two or three times, each time accompanied by lots of cussing on my part. Obviously, I’m not a big purchaser of digital music. Also, I kind of object to installing extra software. I mean, I know why they require it, but that doesn’t stop me from complaining. Anyway … it turns out, I had it on both computers. There, I was ready to go.

Except … that it had been kind of a long week and I was pretty tired. Normally I’m a night owl, but my low energy state had me wondering if I should just go to bed a little early and then get up early for the whole download/listen/review adventure. Nah, I wouldn’t be able to sleep. It’s really hard for me to turn in much before midnight or 12:30. So my plan involved watching some bizarre movie to keep me occupied until the appointed time. I chose Crumb, a documentary about the illustrator Robert Crumb. Bizarre is indeed the right word and it did the trick. I found Crumb’s focus and creativity kind of inspiring, making me ready to take in some new music and wrap some words around it.

[SOMETHING ELSE! SNEAK PEEK: Preview four tunes from Bruce Springsteen’s Wrecking Ball, including live takes on the title song, “Land of Hope and Dreams” and the bonus track “American Land.”]

The time came and I downloaded the new single, going through Amazon’s silly 8 or 12 click process … and then enduring a launch of Windows Media Player (which I did not ask for), which in turn popped up a request for a software update. C’mon guys, I just want to listen to some new Bruce! So I transferred the mp3 file to my Android phone and then went off to bed.

I popped in the earbuds, pulled the comforter up over my head, and pressed play. Nobody could see it but a huge grin came across my face. The drums lead into the Telecaster arpeggios, and then the glockenspiel, and piano, and …

… and I’m a kid again. This is where I almost feel sorry for the nitpickers. It’s like people forget what the joy of discovery is like, choosing to remain attached to a kind of negative spirit that suits every occasion. Is it a control thing? I guess I don’t know, and certainly won’t spend a whole lot of time trying to figure it out.

So press play I did. About ten times. Not long after this — and realizing that I was cranked full of adrenaline — I spent a little time poking about on the Internet. I saw a tweet from this writer (and fellow Bruce fanatic) who I follow. She had already posted her initial thoughts on “We Take Care Of Our Own.” It was heartening to read that there’s somebody else out there able to get in touch with, as she put it, her “giddy 16-year-old” self.

Life’s too short to be spending so much of it looking for flaws in everything. It’s a big ‘ole world out there. You keep that up, and you’re going to miss a whole lot.

By the way, much has been said (mostly in an insanely speculative and/or dismissive manner) about Bruce and the anger that Wrecking Ball will be infused with. Yes, Mr. Springsteen is a rich man, so of course he can have nothing to be angry about. Really? Take a look at this sad and inspiring video, put together by Bruce fan extraordinaire Gina Giambone.

Thanks, Bruce. Thanks, Anne. Thanks, Gina.

Mark Saleski

Mark Saleski

Mark Saleski is a writer and music obsessive based out of the woods of central New Hampshire. A past contributor to, and Salon, he originated several of our weekly features including the Friday Morning Listen, (Cross the) Heartland, WTF! Wednesday, and Sparks Fly on E Street. Follow him on Twitter: @msaleski. Contact Something Else! at
Mark Saleski
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