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High Hopes review thread.


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#1 kevharrison

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 07:49 PM

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I have merged all reviews into one thread, please post new reviews here, thanks.

 

From UK Classic Rock magazine.. 8/10 - (copied from BTX and tidied up)

 

The world tour that Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band embarked upon shortly after the release of 2012's Wrecking Ball has yet to come to an end, a second sweep through Australia and New Zealand keeping them on the road until early March. Such an intense itinerary would suggest little time to prepare a follow-up album, but High Hopes arrives as a result of trawling the archives and whistle-stop visits to studios between shows.

It's a new Springsteen album, but with many familiar motifs, including a couple of pivotal tracks that appeared in different form on previous records, and other songs show cased onstage down the years.

 

Consequently, there's no linking narrative here, no umbrella themes like on The Rising, Devils and Dust or Wrecking Ball; instead, it's a pleasing patchwork of echoes of the past.
While the E Street Band, including dear departed members Clarence Clemons and Danny Federici all feature, the most notable collaborator is Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello on eight of the 1 2 tracks. His presence continues a liaison which began when he stood in for Bruce's regular right-hand man Steve Van Zandt, who took a short sabbatical from the tour last year to film the second series of TV crime dram a Lilyhammer.

Morello brings to the party a tougher, more aggressive guitar sound than usual, best exemplified on a reworking of American Skin (41 Shots) and the overhaul of The Ghost Of Tom Joad (on which he also shares lead vocals), the sombre, whispered acoustics of Springsteen's 1995 original Jettisoned in favour of an amped-up, combative folk-rock assault. "Tom and his guitar became my muse, pushing the rest of this project to another level," Springsteen writes in the liner notes.

It was Morello's idea to record the title track, a cover of a 1990 song by Los Angeles rockers The Havalinas, his wah-wah guitar underpinning a folk-funk groove that lays the foundation for a raging, pleading lyric that might just as feasibly have come from Bruce's own pen (Give me help, give me strength, give a soul a night of fearless sleep'). It marks the first time (apart from live releases) that Springsteen has included other people's material on one of his albums, and it doesn't stop there. Having said that, The Saints' Just like Fire Would sounded fairly like a Boss song in its original form, while Suicide's Dream Baby Dream has intermittently been part of the Bruce live set for nearly 10 years, to the point where it's often mistaken for one of his own compositions, much in the same way as Tom Waits Jersey Girl. For the long-standing Springsteen fan, there's a fun game to be had identifying the touchstones of his past; the brooding, menacing Harry s Place plays like a seedy small town remake of Murder Incorporated, the subdued shuffle of Down ln The Hole could well be a sequel to the outcast lover's tale l'm On Fire (' . . I'm buried to my heart here in this hurt'), and the jangling, folk-infused this Is Your Sword is cut from the same uplifting cloth as the more defiant and anthemia components of The Rising and Wrecking Ball.

Paradoxically, the album's two most evocative selections prove to be the most throwaway and the most substantial. The goodtime Frankie Fell in Love transports Springsteen back to the early'70s, to the days of sharing a run-down apartment on the Jersey Shore with Van Zandt, a joyously simplistic celebration of a buddy getting the girl of his dreams (World peace gonna break out, from here on in we're eatin' takeout').lt wouldn't have sounded out of place amid the juke box bounce of The River.

 

The flipside to such frippery is The Wall, Springsteen at his most poetic on a eulogy inspired by another real-life )jersey native who went missing in action in Vietnam. The song finds Bruce standing in front of the stark Washington DC memorial with the names of more than 58,000 fallen souls carved into it ('This black stone and these hard tears are all got left now of you'),remembering times past.

 

Whereas it’s undoubted companion piece, 1998's Brothers under The Bridge, focussed on returning veterans struggling to adjust to post-war civilian life, The Wall offers up an elegant prayer for those who never made it home. High Hopes is Springsteen's sixth album in a little over eight years, an impressively prolific output matched only by Neil Young among acts of a similar calibre and vintage, and while some of its contents may have been first earmarked for earlier releases, there's nothing to suggest the well will run dry anytime soon. The Boss continues to aim high, filling his legions of followers with hope.


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#2 Born To Walk

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 07:55 PM

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A few may have already decided they don't like it, but I'm really looking forward to hearing this.



#3 janeymarywendy

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 08:01 PM

A few may have already decided they don't like it, but I'm really looking forward to hearing this.

 

Me too. 


From here on in we're eating take-out.


#4 Rick6120

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 08:02 PM

I'm looking forward to hearing as well. That's the first well written review I've read for this album and thanks for posting.



#5 sietze1976

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 08:20 PM

Can't wait!!!
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#6 mihalios

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 08:20 PM

I really look forward to hearing it as everyone - can't love or hate it before that!

 

Ok, I may love it a bit already...


Buy less. Listen more. http://www.brucedownloads.com


#7 Kay

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 08:28 PM

In stealing a word from another thread, maybe it will give some of us an eargasm.

My new fave word.
Now I work down at the carwash where all it ever does is rain

#8 Jerseyfornia

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 08:46 PM

A great review, not written by a Rolling Stone critic, is promising.


If you're supposed to watch your mouth all the time, I doubt your eyes would be above it.


#9 Potstan

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 08:46 PM

Can't wait to hear this. Will skip the title track and the electric Joad but have a feeling the rest of the record will be damn good :)



#10 Kay

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 09:10 PM

Skip Joad when it's referred to as a combative folk-assault?

Not moi.
Now I work down at the carwash where all it ever does is rain

#11 Jerseyfornia

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 09:14 PM

I always thought there were certain songs on TGOTJ that would have been more powerful rocked up a little. The reunion tour versions of Joad and Youngstown confirmed it for me. 

 

I ain't skippin' no electric Joad.


If you're supposed to watch your mouth all the time, I doubt your eyes would be above it.


#12 Promise61

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 09:16 PM

Um, this review could have been written without hearing the album, based on what we already know.  Somebody trying to beat a publication deadline?


'All you can write is what you see.'


#13 Promise61

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 09:19 PM

And, um, I commented on here weeks ago about a 'patchwork quilt' of an album, and a lack of 'narrative.'

Bogus. And I'm calling shenanigans.

:-)

'All you can write is what you see.'


#14 Early North Jersey

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 09:22 PM

World peace gonna break out, from here on in we're eatin' takeout'

 

Oh Boy...maybe a new funny song for everyone to hate.


This Turnpike sure is spooky at night when you're all alone.

#15 Jerseyfornia

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 10:11 PM

Um, this review could have been written without hearing the album, based on what we already know.  Somebody trying to beat a publication deadline?

There are lyrics from several of the unheard songs in the review.


If you're supposed to watch your mouth all the time, I doubt your eyes would be above it.


#16 Vibes

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 10:16 PM

And, um, I commented on here weeks ago about a 'patchwork quilt' of an album, and a lack of 'narrative.'Bogus. And I'm calling shenanigans.:-)


No. He's definitely heard it. Maybe not repeatedly but I guarantee he's heard it.

When they kiss they spit white noise...

#17 kevharrison

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 10:30 PM

Many journos will have heard it. They are embargoed depending on release dates of their respective publications. I think it is Jan 6th for daily press.


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#18 Promise61

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 01:14 AM

I'm not so sure. It's all vague. Why not come out with a full on review and tell us how good it is. Or not?

This whole Shore Fire/Sony/JLM attitude to this compilation record is so amateur. And arrogant.

Who is the young gunslinger selling shed loads by stealth? Beyoncé? Rhianna? Whoever, their people are switched on and tuned in. Bruce's children need to have a word.

'All you can write is what you see.'


#19 kevharrison

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 06:28 AM

All the journos who need to hear it have done so. Much of the entertainment industry has closed down now for Xmas. Magazines like Q, Mojo etc need to have reviews in their Jan issue, they can't leave it until after Xmas or miss the deadline. There is no point reviews appearing three weeks after the record s released.


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#20 Tramps67

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 09:00 AM

I agree that all the journos would have heard it by now but that review could have been written by someone who hasn't yet heard it. If I was a casual fan it wouldn't convince me to go out and buy it.

#21 Jerseyfornia

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 09:10 AM

I don't understand the opinion that he hasn't heard the record. He quotes lyrics from a couple of the songs we haven't heard, describes Harry's Place as menacing and brooding, describes Down In The Hole as a shuffle, pretty much says Frankie Fell In Love is an upbeat party song. I'm not arguing whether it's a well-written review or not or whether it's giving you the specific information you want but why do you think he hasn't heard it based on what he wrote?


If you're supposed to watch your mouth all the time, I doubt your eyes would be above it.


#22 Tramps67

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 09:29 AM

My logic is that the whole review is padded with filler and apart from the pretty vague descriptions and a few lyrics here and there, there is not much of a review going on. It could be that the writer is awful at his job or just as likely he has 'borrowed' a few bits from someone else and padded the review out.

I worked in the music business for many years (even worked on the TOL, HT and LT releases) so I know which calibre of publications and journos would be trusted enough to get a copy of the album and which calibre of publications and journos would get to 'borrow' bits of a review from one of those who had been given full access.

All I know is that I am greatly looking forward to the album.

#23 LeoGetz

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Posted 25 December 2013 - 11:05 AM

If you read it from back to front and only take the second letter from every word, you end up with a text in a forgotten indian language. Translated to English it means that the album's going to suck. If you skip every other word it's also a suicide note.


  1. P!NK, Munich, Olympiahalle, 2013-05-18

  2. P!NK, Vienna, Stadthalle, 2013-05-09

  3. BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN, Barcelona, Camp Nou, 2008-07-19

  4. AC/DC, Vienna, Stadthalle, 1996-05-19

  5. BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN, Milan, San Siro, 2008-06-25

  6. KISS, Donington, Monsters Of Rock Festival, 1996-08-15

  7. BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN, Bologna, Palamalaguti, 2002-10-18

  8. METALLICA, Hamburg, Docks, 1997-11-15

  9. PRO PAIN, Eindhoven, Dynamo Festival, 1998-05-30

10. KISS, Los Angeles, Dodger Stadium, 1998-10-31


#24 borntorunsean

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Posted 26 December 2013 - 10:05 AM

The reviews are average, which indicates to me it's even worse as these critics vastly over rate new stuff.

This album will be forgot about by the summer which even Bruce knows as he will have another ready.

They seriously need some better quality control.

#25 Lampi

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Posted 26 December 2013 - 10:55 AM

This album will be forgot about by the summer which even Bruce knows as he will have another ready.

 

Why do you think that?

I would not bet too much money on a new album by the summer or even in 2014.

Like another topic from a few weeks ago said:'They say he is writing all the time (and always has one or even two records as work-in-progress), but is he really?'

 

Of course I hope I'm wrong and that we will get a new and great album in 2014.






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