Artist: Bruce Springsteen
Album: High Hopes
Having toured the Wrecking Ball album endlessly Springsteen has offered up a bit of a stop gap album with a handful of “new” songs sitting alongside some live tracks finally laid down in the studio. The new ones are a mix of covers and bits and pieces that have popped up on e.p.s and so on. It looks like a clear out before a new album.
As a result of its fairly artificial construction, this isn’t an album that especially flows. A long term favourite, “American Skin (41 Shots)
" is still exceptional as is most of "The Ghost Of
”. I say most as this is one of a handful that feature Tom Morello, famous for being in Rage Against The Machine and now an odd bedfellow for The Boss.
His rasping vocal adds to the mood but his lead breaks push a little too close to the edge before the solo. Oh my. Springsteen has always had this as one of his quirkier guitar solos but Morello takes it to new, best unexplored depths, losing control and shape and, most importantly, sitting drastically at odds with the Springsteen canon.
It’s an odd thing for such an established artist to do, destroy his own song, and I can only hope that whenever I next see him live that Morello is off sick. It’s as painful a minute or so as I have ever experienced and is inexplicable.
Anyway, back to the rest. As with many of his covers, Bruce has chosen well and makes the songs sound more like his own than some of those he performs that he actually wrote for others! “Just Like Fire Would
" is one such, coming from the world of alt rock.
This is really a fans release but goes to show that big artists can turn their hands to pretty much anything. I would have preferred the running order to have a better flow and that would probably mean a few changes. It will do for now but is no substitute for a proper new album.16/20