Nostalgia can be a tricky thing. On the surface, “Summer of ’89″ seems like a typical fist-pumping nostalgia rock anthem like “Glory Days” or (ahem) “Summer of ’69.” But then the lyrics get darker and the fates of his friends get grimmer (in a non-funny and non-ironic way). And then about three minutes in, the song takes a kind of odd Violent Femmes style turn which ends with Walker desperately screaming “When do I become?!?” before segueing back into the fist pumping chorus. On the one hand, you can enjoy the perverse twists and turns of this deceptively simple and brilliantly written song. Or you can ignore what I say and just pump your fist in the air like you just don’t care (which the song is good for as well). Enjoy this before Budweiser puts it in a commercial.
On a personal note, there’s nothing in this song that even remotely resembles my summer of ’89, unless I missed a lyric about working at Pizza Hut or mowing lawns.