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Born in the U.S.A. is an album painted in big, broad strokes. But it was still too subtle for some--namely politicians who tried to tap the title track as a jingoistic anthem when it is in fact a bitter diatribe by a Vietnam War vet whose country forgot him. The rest of the album is a glorious grab bag of radio-ready populist anthems--his best display of pure pop songwriting ever--including "No Surrender," "Dancing in the Dark," "Bobby Jean," and "Glory Days" alongside more circumspect numbers such as "My Hometown" and "I'm On Fire." It's not true that there's no arguing with success, but in this case Springsteen's widespread acclaim was warranted. With
Born in the U.S.A., all those predictions from a decade earlier--that Springsteen was the future of rock--had come true.