Now That’s What Michael Calls Music! Volume 1

I’ve been stressing out about the characters in this song. Based on the lyrics they are either (a) just barely hanging on OR (b) doing perfectly fine. “So we had a little baby boy
but we knew it wouldn’t last too long,” oh no what is happening to that baby boy? Next line: “kind of what I had in mind, but what I had mind was strong,” and I no longer have any clue as to what’s going on. Either an unmentionable tragedy has occurred or everything is going swimmingly.

This is a very good song with a good guitar solo. I have a friend who is a huge metalhead and we were talking about new music and the death of rock and roll and he said, “God, I just need something with a guitar solo.” I’ve been trying to figure out whether to send this to him or not, because it meets the letter while totally violating the spirit of his request.

Yo I’m in the eye of the storm, where the pressure’s on
And MC’s is dressed funny like a leprechuan
I chop rappers up like chicken szechuan
Sells a squads off like a slave auction
Aiyyo my zodiac sign read caution
On stage, I make your seed to an or-phan
Yo, my age an algebraic equation

The Rising is a great song! I didn’t realize this. My Bruce fandom has focused on everything up to Darkness on the Edge of Town, but I hadn’t gone much past there until recently. (Also great: Born in the USA! Specifically, No Surrender, Downbound Train, Cover Me.)

But The Rising is terrific, heartbreaking. It’s so well-structured that you know precisely what the guitar solo represents in the narrative (the blazing death of a fire fighter) and then he returns as a ghost or something. I had assumed that it was just another B-team classic rock song from a great writer’s later years, and, on closer listen, it is that, but it’s also a bit more than that too.