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Single Review: Bruce Springsteen – ‘High Hopes’

2 min read

The Boss is back. Bruce Springsteen’s new album High Hopes is to be released in January, but for now fans have been provided a taster in the form of the boisterous title-track recorded in collaboration with Tom Morello, who is best known as the guitarist for the rap-metal band Rage Against the Machine.

BruceSpringsteenHighHopesThe track is not an original, nor is it the first time Springsteen has recorded it. The song was penned by Tom Scott McConnell of The Havalinas, and a version appeared on Springsteen’s 1996 EP Blood Brothers. Morello though, whilst filling in on guitar for the Australian stint of the Boss’s recent tour, suggested that they add High Hopes to the live repertoire, and subsequently a new cut of the track was recorded mid-tour in a Sydney studio.

High Hopes is built around a variation on the Bo Diddley beat, and its main riff, whilst rather sultry, jibes well with the heavy but danceable grooves typical of Morello’s work with Rage Against the Machine. The track also features a solo from the guitarist in his almost mechanical signature style. Moreover, the booming E Street Band and Springsteen’s heartland howl give the tune an exuberance that is perhaps absent in the original Havalina’s version.

‘I got high hopes!’ Springsteen repeats enthusiastically in the song’s chorus, and the exclamation seems to extend beyond it’s meaning within the song itself. The singer recently said of his upcoming album: ‘This is music I always felt needed to be released’, so his ‘high hopes’ then would seem to stem from the desire to achieve for these tracks the recognition that they deserve. And if High Hopes is an indicator of the quality of the rest of the tunes on the record, then they will surely receive the acclaim that Springsteen seeks.