Bruce Springsteen – High Hopes

You have to give a heap of props to the guy from Jersey as he has managed to stay at the top of his game for pretty much all of his eighteen studio albums. High Hopes is no different as it demonstrates that Springsteen is not getting older rather he is just retaining that ability to produce great American rock music. His creative well seems to never run dry and that is not surprising as he has always been an artist that addresses topical issues in his music. There is never a shortage of things about life in America to sing about. High Hopes sees him singing about the crisis that the United States is going through as well as songs about the universal human quest for love and maintaining relationships. A surprise is his ability to look back and forward on the same album and make it work. He reinvents two of his classic songs – basically covers himself. “The Ghost of Tom Joad” and “American Skin (41 Shots)” are revisited and shown they can still be relevant almost two decades later. “The Ghost of Tom Joad” was originally done acoustically and now it is totally electrified with Tom Morello singing a verse as well as supplying a searing guitar solo. The addition of Tom Morello really has plumped up the E Street Band. “American Skin (41 Shots)” unfortunately remains relevant due to the Trayvon Martin shooting and the many school shootings in the U.S. and other places. The album is also bookended by covers. It begins with the title track “High Hopes” originally done by the Havalinas and finishes with “Dream Baby Dream” by the Suicides. All in all this is a rich sounding album from a guy who has come to epitomize American rock and roll.

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