High Hopes

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High Hopes Image
Metascore
67

Generally favorable reviews - based on 42 Critics What's this?

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6.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 56 Ratings

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  • Summary: Produced with Ron Aniello and featuring Rage Against The Machine's Tom Morello on guitar, The Boss' 18th studio release includes covers, outtakes, and new takes of previously released songs.
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Top Track

The Ghost Of Tom Joad
Men walking 'long the railroad tracks Going someplace, there's no going back Highway patrol choppers coming up over the ridge Hot soup on a campfire... See the rest of the song lyrics
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 42
  2. Negative: 1 out of 42
  1. Uncut
    Jan 15, 2014
    90
    There's a sombre edge to almost all these songs, even when the Hammond organ is wailing and the backbeat is a mile wide.... Morello's presence is crucial to the tone of the album. [Feb 2014, p.65]
  2. Classic Rock Magazine
    Jan 2, 2014
    80
    It's a pleasing patchwork of echoes of the past. [Feb 2014, p.92]
  3. Jan 13, 2014
    80
    There’s something about High Hopes’ slight incoherence that actually stands to its advantage--it’s a less homogenous, polished whole than Magic or The Rising and a fresher, more arresting listen.
  4. Jan 9, 2014
    60
    High Hopes may be a stopgap, but it is one assembled with tender, loving care.
  5. Jan 13, 2014
    60
    The best of them--mostly the resigned or farseeing songs, the songs that have no hero and no story--rise above the odds. But a large portion of the record feels, let’s say, official.
  6. Jan 14, 2014
    58
    With High Hopes, Springsteen splashes his brightest colors against a canvas, crosses his fingers, and hopes they mesh.
  7. Jan 14, 2014
    39
    While Springsteen is notorious for painstakingly sequencing his albums, High Hopes was a losing battle--a puzzle with pieces that, more often than not, just don’t interlock.

See all 42 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 10
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 10
  3. Negative: 1 out of 10
  1. Jan 15, 2014
    10
    I was sceptical at first, but when it comes to listen to a new Springsteen album you can always have a surprise. This has been one of thoseI was sceptical at first, but when it comes to listen to a new Springsteen album you can always have a surprise. This has been one of those times. The new record seems to be very very solid, similar, somehow, to other works of the artist (it actually sounds more like Magic and The Rising, than Wrecking Ball). Ron Aniello did an amazing job, even though we can't say the same about Brendan O'Brien: while Aniello makes the songs sound fresh and new, O'Brien seems to stop the energy of the E Street Band, making the tracks sound a little bit static. But after all, only details can be criticized: like that awful guitar solo on "Heaven's Wall", an unusual gospel and biblical song, written to be very light. Morello is way too heavy playing on that, and that makes a contrast which is not good for hears, not good at all. The title track, "High Hopes" does not sound very inspired, talking about arrangements, but Bruce's voice keeps the song at a great level. "Harry's Place" may not be a classic Springsteen songs (it reminds a lot the nineties) but that groove and that sax really work. "The Wall", on the other hand, is a real classic Springsteen song, with amazing and moving lyrics, and a melody that recalls Fields Of Gold. Very impressive are "Down In The Hole" (a ballad with the rhythm of "I'm On Fire" and the atmosphere of "Paradise"), "This Is Your Sword" (an Irish rock song with a hopeful text), "Hunter Of Invisible Game" (another ballad very similar to "Jack Of All Trades" and with an apocalyptic text). This album really deserves to be listened. It's fresh, unusual, something about the new generation, but even about the Bruce Springsteen we all know. It deserves to be listened. Because The Boss has always something to say. Expand
  2. Sep 29, 2014
    10
    It is rare for me to like every single song on an album, but such is the case with High Hopes for me. From the hard-rocking "Ghost of TomIt is rare for me to like every single song on an album, but such is the case with High Hopes for me. From the hard-rocking "Ghost of Tom Joad" to the slow and soulful "Hunter of Invisible Game", you will go through a range of emotions with this wonderful collection. Expand
  3. MES
    Apr 7, 2014
    9
    This may not be Bruce's best, but it is a very compelling set of songs. He's done a great job with covers of High Hopes and Just Like FireThis may not be Bruce's best, but it is a very compelling set of songs. He's done a great job with covers of High Hopes and Just Like Fire Would as well as some of his own compositions (Frankie Fell in Love, Hunter of Invisible Game). And his Morello-fueled versions of Tom Joad and American Skin are worth the price of the album itself. Springsteen is a very talented songwriter and unquestionably great entertainer, but this album shows his willingness to change his sound and incorporate the energy of a younger music generation. High Hopes documents the evolution of an artist at the top of his game who is continuing to grow and evolve. It may not have the killer hits of some previous albums, it is a very important installment in the Springsteen catalog. Want to see how a master builds on his legacy? Buy High Hopes. Expand
  4. Jan 14, 2014
    8
    Anything Bruce Springsteen does is worth serious attention and is liable to be better than at least 3/4 of anything else that is out there.Anything Bruce Springsteen does is worth serious attention and is liable to be better than at least 3/4 of anything else that is out there. This album is no exception. Tight and emminently listenable. If you don't get Bruce Springsteen, you don't get rock and roll. Expand
  5. Sep 15, 2014
    7
    After a glorious hot streak following his comeback with 2002's "The Rising", "High Hopes" marks the first underwhelming Springsteen release inAfter a glorious hot streak following his comeback with 2002's "The Rising", "High Hopes" marks the first underwhelming Springsteen release in over a decade. Cobbled together from left over tracks that "didn't fit" with the albums put out, this record is a strange one. It's got some fine moments on it, the title track, along with the live favourite "American Skin" and "Hunter of Invisible Game" are all Springsteen at his best. Unfortunately there are some uncharacteristically plodding tracks in the records middle which hark back to the bosses' early 90's output (not his best period). Then you have the great song "Ghost of Tom Joad" getting revisited with Tom Morello - this should not have been touched. There is an obvious lack of coherence on the album and this is clearly due to the fact that the tracks are coming from different periods over the last 15 years.

    Springsteen himself seemed unsure of how to push this album and gave mixed messages on whether it was a proper new album or not. If it had been marketed differently as an outtakes collected then my expectations would have been managed but as he has put this out there as something that is essentially a new record, I feel a bit short changed. It is nice to have some of these songs in recorded form but not all of them and overall a new album wasn't necessarily the right way to do it.
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  6. Jan 27, 2014
    7
    Coming from a pretty big Springsteen fan, I liked this album, but feel it's the weakest of his post-comeback output. It's great musically allComing from a pretty big Springsteen fan, I liked this album, but feel it's the weakest of his post-comeback output. It's great musically all across the board but I can't help but feel like Bruce is getting stale lyrically.

    Top 5 tracks: American Skin, Frankie Fell in Love, Heaven't Wall, Dream Baby Dream, The Ghost of Tom Joad
    Score: 71/100

    (I elaborate much more on this in my YouTube review. Just search for Spin It! Reviews.)
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  7. Jan 14, 2014
    3
    i'm a big big fan of bruce but this new album is utter **** high hopes or as it should be called big disappointment, music is horrendous, thei'm a big big fan of bruce but this new album is utter **** high hopes or as it should be called big disappointment, music is horrendous, the way ghost of tom joad is ruined is beyond my comprehension, i listened it live in new version and it's great but the studio version is plain awful, the same goes for the american skin, i just can't believe bruce released album of such poor quality Expand

See all 10 User Reviews