Meshach Abednego – “Born In The U.S.A.” – Single Review
Happy to have another crack at this bat! Last time around when we first reviewed Meshach’s music on a previous single, “Just Be Glad To Be Here,” I had found lots interesting, but also a little puzzling perhaps. Like eclectic artists that have a flair for defined styles like Leonard Cohen or Tom Waits; Meshach’s music was noticeably niche. While largely I still feel the same way…I think that his choosing of covering ‘the boss’ Bruce Springsteen’s “Born In The U.S.A.” actually speaks a lot to the character of Meshach and his keen eye for what gives a song its true essence.
Let me explain what I mean. Close your eyes for a moment and start to think of “Born In The U.S.A.” and go ahead…hum the tune a bit. What do you remember? I don’t have to be sitting beside the 99% of you that remember the chorus line…you know, the part where Bruce yells out how he’s “Born In The U.S.A.” and all the bandannas, ripped jeans and wristbands start getting excited…that’s the part you remember. What about the rest?
Unless you’re part of a very small, finite group of people that actually get the meaning behind this song…the rage, the sarcasm and discontent that go along with it – you’ve completely missed the point. Meshach hasn’t – you can tell by the gritty way he’s chosen to cover this song that he has fully understood this isn’t exactly an anthem supporting the incredible values of America so much as scoffing at what they’ve advertised it to be versus what it actually IS. Go and READ the lyrics to the song…and afterwards I’m positive you’d come to the conclusion that this might just be one of the most misunderstood songs ever written in music history. No joke – I feel like I could write an essay around this one song and how it captivated the stereos and radio-stations of an entire nation without them ever really ‘getting it.’
Like I said…I think from what I hear in this release that Meshach does…and he brings an entirely new life to this song with a clever mix of sorrow/sweet; which again, if you ask me is what the menu calls for as far as this song is concerned. I like the recording in particular as well…I like the wide-open feel it has and maintains all the while through as the isolated performance from Meshach happens around it. You can hear things happening occasionally…kid sounds…things being knocked-over or played with…and it really works well – it’s a very minimal effect used extremely minimally…he doesn’t overdo anything here. These slight additions actually add a lot to the track…and I swear you can actually HEAR Meshach SMILE as he’s singing right at the end of the track…right around 3:25…he can correct me if I’m wrong. That being said…even if he wasn’t he might just want to accept the credit for the moment as it’s times like those that I think Abednego’s humble personality shines through at its brightest.
That single moment towards the end also made me believe that chances are this is recorded right there IN the moment…live off the floor; perhaps while he’s looking after a grandchild & providing the young-one with entertainment and music for the night. From the sounds echoing through the background and squeals of delight…I’d have to say he’s already found his number-one fan, right in front of him.
Ultimately, I feel like we get a better glimpse of Meshach through this single/cover than we did last time around; despite that he didn’t write this song – it’s completely his sound & style that dominate the mood & atmosphere, resulting in a cover so different that many wouldn’t recognize it at first. I think that works to both his advantage AND the song’s advantage; I think he’s done some real justice to this song and its true-meaning through this bold-cover – great job Meshach!
Find out more from the official site for Meshach Abednego at: http://meshachabednego.com/