It’s Bruce Springsteen being Bruce Springsteen and not much has changed from 1978. The 70’s weren’t great economically, I’ve heard, and not particularly stable politically. It was an angst-filled decade, especially in its final years, and it inspired a variety of cultural reactions. From the escapism of disco to the rage of punk, pop culture reflected a lot of common dissatisfaction. It was great inspiration for a writer like Springsteen, who noticed that, overall, Americans were not leading great lives. Americans may have enjoyed a few years of booming postwar prosperity and a collective spirit of optimism, but that had all burned itself out by the end of the 70’s, and although there have been periods of progress, peace and prosperity since that time, we’ve continued to see increasing economic disparity, political strife and general feelings of hopelessness. Which is, again, great news for people whose life’s work is writing sad songs about the bleakness of the heartland. It’s kept Bruce Springsteen relevant to a degree nobody could have predicted when he was just another earnest singer-songwriter in a newsboy hat.