American capitalism is unfair. Let’s just put it straight. It is. There is no getting around that; the true political debate revolves around whether unfairness is an inherent aspect of humanity. Not delving into a political tirade here, but should we really support a system that allows some men to sit back in a recliner and make millions while other men scrub disgusting convenient store floors and make barely enough to secure a wretched existence (Eugene V. Debs said that last part)? I guess that’s for you to decide. But there is one thing you can argue: capitalism has produced some damn good music. There’d be no Bruce Springsteen, no Clash, no Black Flag, no Kanye West without it. After all, a punk needs capitalism in order to even exist. Passionate soul revivalist, Charles Bradley, is a prime example of just how important capitalism is to music. “Why Is It So Hard?” is a soulful plea that would fit nicely tattooed on the arm of Joe the Plumber. Charles Bradley sounds as if he is on the edge of desperation, his voice dark, loud, and endearing, his vocal tremolo shaking with passionate screams of prayer. The song’s instrumentation conjures up a sort of blue-collar camaraderie, evoking E-Street and Otis Redding. When finishing listening to “Why Is It So Hard?”, you can’t help but to feel empowered and red-faced. Charles Bradley may be struggling with America, but if “Why Is It So Hard?” is an implication of his strife, his struggle can’t last too long.
The live version is far more badass.