It's easy for anyone looking for some depth in pop music to dismiss Billy Joel. "Storm Front" won't change that, but there is something fascinating about how Joel strives for respectability. As imitative, calculatingly commercial and occasionally foolish as this music is, a brash individuality comes through.
Joel is canny enough to come up with a concept like "We Didn't Start the Fire" (a rapid-fire "This Is Your Life" montage for the Baby-Boom generation), pretentious enough to try to invest it with significance and shallow enough to have it turn out an exercise in banality. It's a failure (especially considering what R.E.M. made of a similar idea on "It's the End of the World as We Know It"), but at least it's a failure that is uniquely Joelesque.