Interesting comparison between Bruce Springsteen and Steve Earle by Don Hazen in Alternet:
- As the first anniversary of Sept. 11 approaches, the starkly contrasting reactions to two new albums — one by Bruce Springsteen, the other by Steve Earle — offer a dramatic example of unresolved national feelings that have simmered over the last tumultuous year.
While both albums address themes related to the terrorist attacks, the release of Springsteen’s new album The Rising has been met with the worshipful praise and orchestrated hype associated with a major cultural event. The Boss kicked off the publicity campaign for The Rising with a Time Magazine cover that trumpeted: “How Bruce Springsteen reached out to 9/11 survivors and turned America’s anguish into art” (Aug 5); an appearance on the Today Show, and two consecutive nights on David Letterman.
In contrast, Earle’s new album Jerusalem has turned him overnight into what the Toronto Star calls, “America’s most reviled popular musician.” Less well known than Springsteen, Earle is a veteran singer/songwriter with a loyal following and a well-developed social conscience. Yet the Star writes, “Suddenly Eminem looks about as dangerous as a prancing court jester … Earle has stirred quite a little dust storm with ‘John Walker’s Blues,’ a song about convicted American Taliban conscript John Walker Lindh.”….