Bruce Springsteen may be my favorite musician, and that is one opinion that I think I share with a number of people. Since his debut album in 1973, The Boss has consistently released albums that are all very good, and all very different. His latest album, High Hopes, was released January 22, and is a CD that all Bruce fans will want to add to their collection.
High Hopes is a glued-together type of album. Previous Bruce CDs have had stories interwoven between the songs, and can all be seen as one continuation of the same theme. This is not true for High Hopes. It is best to think of this as a collection of B-Sides rather than a completely new collection of songs. This is not to say that High Hopes feels disconnected or stale in any way; instead, what High Hopes does is take old Springsteen songs–Ghost of Tom Joad, for example–and re-record them. Added to this mix of re-done classics is covers of songs that Bruce Springsteen enjoys and some tracks that were only performed live, but have been made relevant again–for example, “American Skin” was a song originally about the shooting of Amadou Diallo and performed in 2001. On High Hopes, however, Springsteen has re-purposed the song to be about the Trayvon Martin incident. While not completely new, the work on this album is original and fresh, and very welcome.
Joining Bruce this time is Tom Morello, the guitarist from Rage Against the Machine, with whom Springsteen has worked in the past. His musical style contrasts a little with the E-Street Band, but together they make a good-sounding team. The end result is a powerful sound with the occasional hint that someone else has had a hand in the music.
High Hopes is a solid album by Bruce Springsteen. The sound is instantly familiar to fans of The Boss, and the songs deserve a place in Springsteen’s discography. While it may not be a starting point for new Springsteen fans, for those that already love The Boss it will be a solid addition.
Watch the High Hopes single music video here.
High Hopes by Bruce Springsteen is available now in stores and online.