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High Hopes

High Hopes

High Hopes

High Hopes


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There isn't another Bruce Springsteen album like High Hopes. Cobbled together from covers -- of other songwriters along with the Boss himself ("American Skin [41 Shots]" and "The Ghost of Tom Joad" are both revived) -- and outtakes from the last decade, High Hopes doesn't have the cohesion or gilded surfaces of Wrecking Ball, but neither is it quite a clearinghouse of leftovers. Inspired in part by Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello, who has proven to be a brother in arms to Springsteen, as well as a substitute for Steven Van Zandt in the E-Street Band, High Hopes certainly bears the proud stamp of Morello, both in its workingman's politics and in its cinematic sound. Much of this record oscillates between the moody and militant, particularly in the politically charged numbers, which are often colored by percussive guitar squalls. Here, the RATM guitarist often resembles a Nils Lofgren stripped of blues or lyricism -- think of the gusts of noise on "Tunnel of Love" without any melodicism -- and that's a bracing change for Springsteen, who has shown interest in atmospherics but usually when they're coming from keyboards, not six strings. Such sociological talk suggests High Hopes is nothing but rallying cries and downhearted laments, but the fascinating thing about this unkempt collection is how these protest songs and workingman's anthems are surrounded by intimate tunes, ranging from a cover of the Saints' latter-day "Just Like Fire Would" to a strangely soothing interpretation of Suicide's "Dream Baby Dream." Morello reportedly had as much to do with the inclusion of these covers as he did with the record's set pieces -- a stirring "The Ghost of Tom Joad," "American Skin" (which can't help but seem like a reference to the 2012 shooting of Trayvon Martin in this context), and "High Hopes," a Tim Scott McConnell song first recorded in the '90s -- and there's a certain sober passion that ties all these songs together but, in turn, it makes the rest of the record all the more compelling because the pieces simply don't fit. There's the rousing Gaelic rock of "This Is Your Sword," sounding a bit like a rejected closing credit theme for The Wire; "Down in the Hole," which rides the same train-track rhythm as "I'm on Fire;" the complicated waltz of "Hunter of Invisible Game," softer and stranger than much of the rest here; "Harry's Place," a bit of synthesized Sopranos noir that sounds much older than its ten years; and the absolutely glorious "Frankie Fell in Love," as open-hearted and romantic a song as Springsteen has ever written. Strictly speaking, these 12 songs don't cohere into a mood or narrative but after two decades of deliberate, purposeful albums, it's rather thrilling to hear Springsteen revel in a mess of contradictions.

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Product Details

Release Date: 01/14/2014
Label: Sony
UPC: 0888430154629
catalogNumber: 154629
Rank: 106084


  1. High Hopes
  2. Harry's Place
  3. American Skin (41 Shots)
  4. Just Like Fire Would
  5. Down in the Hole
  6. Heaven's Wall
  7. Frankie Fell in Love
  8. This is Your Sword
  9. Hunter of Invisible Game
  10. Ghost of Tom Joad
  11. Wall
  12. Dream Baby Dream

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Bruce Springsteen   Primary Artist,Organ,Synthesizer,Acoustic Guitar,Banjo,Bass,Mandolin,Percussion,Piano,Drums,Harmonium,Vocals,Vibes
Nils Lofgren   Guitar,Mandolin,Pedal Steel Guitar,Background Vocals
Clarence Clemons   Tenor Saxophone
John James   Background Vocals
Patti Scialfa   Background Vocals
Tawatha Agee   Background Vocals
Ron Aniello   Organ,Synthesizer,Bass,Guitar,Percussion,Accordion,12-string Guitar,Vibes,farfisa organ,Loops,Drum Loop
Roy Bittan   Organ,Piano
Everett Bradley   Percussion,Background Vocals
Barry Danielian   Horn
Danny Federici   Organ
Josh Freese   Drums
Clark Gayton   Horn
Charlie Giordano   Organ,Accordion
Stan Harrison   Horn
Curtis King   Background Vocals
Maria Kitsopoulos   Celli
Rob Mathes   Conductor
Cindy Mizelle   Background Vocals
Tom Morello   Guitar,Vocals,Background Vocals
Suzanne Ornstein   Violin
Garry Tallent   Bass
Soozie Tyrell   Violin,Background Vocals
Steven Van Zandt   Guitar,Background Vocals
Max Weinberg   Percussion,Drums
Brenda White   Background Vocals
Atlanta Strings   Strings
Curt Ramm   Cornet,Horn
Jeff Kievit   Piccolo Trumpet
Sam Bardfeld   Violin
Amy Chang   Viola
Keith Fluitt   Background Vocals
Sharon Yamada   Violin
Robert Rinehart   Viola
Cillian Vallely   uillean pipes,Low Whistle
Lisa Kim   Violin,Concert Master
Jay Christy   Violin
Daniel Laufer   Celli
Maurycy Banaszek   Viola
Desiree Elsevier   Viola
Michelle Moore   Background Vocals
Shmuel Katz   Viola
Charae Krueger   Celli
Christopher Pulgram   Violin
Karen Freer   Celli
Jeanine Wynton   Violin
Joanna Mauer   Violin
Lachlan McBane   Viola
William Pu   Violin
Olga Shpitko   Violin
Annaliesa Place   Violin
Alan Stepansky   Celli
Tania Maxwell   Viola
Jessica Lee   Violin
Kenn Wagner   Violin
John Meisner   Violin
Justin Bruns   Violin
Sheela Iyengar   Violin
Ed Manion   Horn
John James   Background Vocals
Hyunju Lee   Violin
Jake Clemons   Horn,Tenor Saxophone,Soloist
Ann Lehmann   Violin
Quan Ge   Violin
David Southorn   Violin
Rupei Yeh   Celli
Sam Springsteen   Background Vocals
Joanna Maijer   Violin
Jessie Springsteen   Background Vocals
Evan Springsteen   Background Vocals
Thornton   Background Vocals
NY Chamber Consort Strings   Strings
Ed Horst   Conductor
Ru Pie Yeh   Celli
Jeanne Wynton   Violin

Technical Credits

Joe Grushecky   Original Idea
Bruce Springsteen   Composer,Producer,Liner Notes,Loop
Martin Rev   Composer
Alan Vega   Composer
Chris Bailey   Composer
Ron Aniello   Producer,Loop
Bob Clearmountain   Engineer
Nick DiDia   Engineer
Rob Mathes   String Arrangements,String Conductor
Kevin Mills   Engineer
Brendan O'Brien   Producer
Sandra Park   String Contractor
Toby Scott   Engineer
Billy Bowers   Pro-Tools
Kevin Buell   Guitar Techician
Tim Scott McConnell   Composer
Eddie Horst   String Arrangements,String Conductor
Geoff Sanoff   Engineer
Cillian Vallely   Whistle
Ross Peterson   Engineer
Michelle Holme   Art Direction
Scott Tibbs   Orchestration
Dave Schiffman   Engineer
Rob Lebret   Engineer
Patricia Horst   String Contractor
Nyra Lang   Photo Assistance
Ed Horst   String Arrangements
Chris J. Bailey   Composer
Edward Smith   Photo Assistance

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