1. Bruce Springsteen, "We Take Care of Our Own"
With its galloping drums and air-raid-siren guitar and synth riffs, the
opening track of Springsteen's emotionally and politically charged "Wrecking
Ball" put fans on high alert: An S.O.S. against social chaos and injustice, this
urgent rocker wrapped rage and resilience into a call to arms that echoed the
outsider solidarity and lyric irony of the Boss' '80s signature, "Born in the
U.S.A." In a compass reading from "shotgun shack to the Superdome," it invoked
the failed response to Hurricane Katrina (a tipping point in Springsteen's
resurgent social and political acuity) before going on to challenge -- and
inspire -- social conscience and sense of community. This is rock taken to a
higher purpose, and all the more exhilarating for that.