Friday, February 24, 2012

Quick Take - Death To My Hometown

Steve: When I saw the title “Death to My Hometown,” I assumed I knew exactly what the song would be – a soft lament somewhere in between “My Hometown” and “My City of Ruins.” I was worried it would be too familiar, too predictable. But I was wrong. The pulsing beat caught me completely off guard, as did hearing Bruce’s voice at its most powerful. This is a really interesting song and upon first impression, I like that Bruce is finding a new way to explore a familiar theme: the disillusion of one's hometown as a place of safety.

Early analysis from The Guardian is comparing the new album to Woody Guthrie and other folk music. “Death to My Hometown” certainly fits that description and aligns with “We Take Care of Our Own” and “Shackled and Drawn” in its anthemic sound and almost militant lyrics. Wrecking Ball is quickly feeling like a more aggressive version of the Seeger Sessions and a catchier Devils & Dust. No complaints so far.

Rory: Bruce channels The Pogues here, and creates an awesome song.  This song, like "Easy Money", shows a different aspect of Bruce.  Instead of the soul-searching songs by Bruce that we're all used to hearing, Bruce identifies the enemy.  The closing stanza:

Send the robber barons straight to hell
The greedy thieves who came around
And ate the flesh of everything they've found
Whose crimes have gone unpunished now
Walk the streets as free men now

is about as direct a message as Bruce has ever sent.  There's no vagueness about this song whatsoever.  I mean, correct me if I'm wrong, but is that the sound of a gun being locked and loaded at the 2:42 minute mark of the song?  When word got out that this would be Bruce's angriest album yet, they weren't kidding. 

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