NEW ALBUM REVIEW:
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN – HIGH HOPES
The Boss takes a rather unusual path with his latest album “High Hopes”. The album is not only a mix of new tunes and old tunes, originals and covers but also was clearly recorded at various points in the latter stages of Springsteen’s career – the track credits on two songs each include the sadly deceased E Streeters, Clarence Clemons and Danny Federici.
Previously heard tunes (either live or on other albums) brushed up by the Boss for “High Hopes”, include “The Ghost of Tom Joad”, “American Skin (41 Shots)”, and three covers :“High Hopes” (Havalinas) , “Dream Baby Dream” (Suicide) and “Just Like Fire Would” (The Saints).
The album features the various members of the E Street Band but the main change to the “expected” Springsteen sound is the addition of guitarist Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine). Morello stepped in to play live shows with Bruce when Steve Van Zandt was unable to play some of the dates on the last Springsteen World Tour. According to Bruce’s own comments, Morello was the guitar muse that inspired some of the reworked songs and was an instrumental factor in the release of “High Hopes”.
You can hear Bruce talk about the new album here:
“High Hopes” was the album’s lead-off single and heavily features Morello’s guitar work:
The album lacks the cohesion of Springsteen’s best work but the “already known” songs (Tom Joad, American Skin) are up there with his best compositions and well worth hearing in their new incarnations.
This probably isn’t an album to convert anyone to Springsteen (and reading the liner notes from the Boss this probably wasn’t the intention anyway) but anyone who is already a fan of Springsteen will find something they will enjoy.
Check out the sonic guitar squall provided by Tom Morello on “The Ghost of Tom Joad”. Here’s a live version with a great Morello guitar wig out from 6.25 in:
“Dream Baby Dream” – the Suicide cover is given a gentle Springsteen rendition and is the most different of the covers on “High Hopes”
If you buy the deluxe CD version of the album you also get a live DVD of Springsteen and the E Street Band playing the whole of their “Born In The USA” album.
Full track listing:
American Skin (41 Shots)
Just Like Fire Would
Down In The Hole
Frankie Fell In Love
This Is Your Sword
Hunter Of Invisible Game
The Ghost of Tom Joad
Dream Baby Dream
Check out the original versions of the songs that Springsteen covers on “High Hopes”:
“High Hopes” – Havalinas
“Just Like Fire Would” (The Saints).