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Reviews appear for Springsteen’s ‘High Hopes’ – and they’re mixed
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The writers of this blog are not music critics, and they don't consider a second (or third, fourth or fifth) mortgage to be a perfectly reasonable course of action to pay for front-row tickets, but despite being a whole lot more middle aged than ...
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Bruce Springsteen
The writers of this blog are not music critics, and they don't consider a second (or third, fourth or fifth) mortgage to be a perfectly reasonable course of action to pay for front-row tickets, but despite being a whole lot more middle aged than they were when they first put \x34Born in the U.S.A.\x34 or \x34The River\x34 down on the turntable, still feels like Bruce has something -- OK, a lot of things -- to say about our country and the way we live our lives, things that not a lot of other artists are saying. And whether he's talking about the knife that can cut this pain from your heart, the house that's waiting for you to walk in or what that flag flying over the courthouse means, he's nailing down feelings that are so universal that they can raise your spirits and break your heart at the same time. Plus, let¹s face it, the man rocks.
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By Pete Chianca
Dec. 29, 2013 12:01 a.m.



high_hopesThe new Bruce Springsteen album “High Hopes” may or may not have leaked on the Internet this weekend — we don’t know anything and even if we did you wouldn’t be able to get anything out of us. It’s in the vault. (If you ask Billboard, though, an errant button-pressing over at Amazon mp3 may have triggered the early unveiling.)

What we do know is that reviews are starting to pop up in the international press, and early word is pointing more toward a “Working on a Dream” than a “Wrecking Ball” in terms of critical response.

Q Magazine in the UK, for one, is giving two thumbs up (or whatever finger they use over there) to the collection of rejiggered outtakes and old tracks. The review’s not online, but you can see a shot of the print version on The Circuit at Greasy Lake. “What could have been desperate barrel scraping is full of unpredictability and power,” writes Dorian Lynsky, lauding Tom Morello’s guitar contributions and the album’s collection of “interesting characters,” the absence of which was a sticking point for some people less than enamored of “Wrecking Ball.”

But Neil McCormick at the Telegraph is less happy with Morello’s efforts, saying his “effects-laden guitar playing operates at odd angles to the deep roots sensibility of the E Street sound,” particularly on the Springsteen-Morello duet reworking of “The Ghost of Tom Joad”:



Morello tips a revamped Ghost Of Tom Joad completely over the top, taking the quiet dignity of the acoustic 1995 original and turning it into a zany prog rock wig-out. The pieces of the song don’t quite fit together, and the same might be said of the whole album.


McCormick also offers (spoiler alert!) a track-by-track breakdown, if you’re into that sort of thing.

It’s clear that we’re probably looking at something less cohesive and more experimental than some past Springsteen fare — and no matter what, the fact that he’s still trying to shake things up 40 years into his expansive career is cause enough to celebrate. But as to how “High Hopes” holds up, look for our review as the Jan. 14 release date approaches, and check back to this post for updates as new reviews appear.

 

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