Albums to watch

High Hopes

Bruce Springsteen

High Hopes

The Boss's 18th studio release, comprising re-recorded old songs, lost songs and covers, and featuring Tom Morello of Rage Against The Machine on guitar

ADM rating[?]

6.4

Label
Columbia
UK Release date
06/01/2014
US Release date
07/01/2014
  1. 9.0 |   Uncut

    If High Hopes is about anything, it's the failure of conventional belief systems and the blight of spiritual poverty experienced as a result
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  2. 9.0 |   Rolling Stone

    The cumulative effect of this mass of old, borrowed, blue and renewed – covers, recent outtakes and redefining takes on two classics – is retrospect with a cutting edge
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  3. 8.3 |   Billboard

    In a first for the artist, the record is a collection of cover songs previously performed live, originals never recorded in the studio and older songs dusted off and reanimated
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  4. 8.0 |   music OMH

    There’s a spirit of collaboration that is largely new, a genuine and warm-hearted celebration of past members’ contributions and a celebration of the rowdy, uplifting storm cooked up by the 18-strong modern incarnation of the group
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  5. 8.0 |   The Independent

    Though lacking the thematic unity one expects from Springsteen albums, High Hopes has much to recommend it
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  6. 8.0 |   Q

    An album on which he plunges forward even as he draws on the past. Print edition only

  7. 8.0 |   Independent on Sunday

    Even looking backwards, Springsteen finds ways to light the road ahead
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  8. 8.0 |   Drowned In Sound

    He’s a bit more rock than usual, a bit more rough than usual, he gives a bit less of a shit than usual – it’s hipster Bruce, un-MOR Bruce
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  9. 8.0 |   NME

    Still The Boss
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  10. 7.0 |   All Music

    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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  11. 6.0 |   PopMatters

    High Hopes, by contrast, is precisely as good as its best material and as bad as its worst, nothing more and nothing less
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  12. 6.0 |   A.V. Club

    With High Hopes, Springsteen splashes his brightest colours against a canvas, crosses his fingers, and hopes they mesh
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  13. 6.0 |   Slant Magazine

    Covers a fair bit of ground while remaining generally consistent in quality, ranging from dark, moody pieces like "Down in the Hole"—which is menaced, but never overtaken, by saccharine children's vocals—to the infectiously goofy title track
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  14. 6.0 |   The Arts Desk

    Listeners may not find the experience especially consistent, but, still, there are some real nuggets here
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  15. 6.0 |   Under The Radar

    A cynical mind would wonder if High Hopes is just a rushed product to fulfill contract obligations with the label, or an excuse for lucrative touring—or both
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  16. 6.0 |   Crack

    Unlikely to be lauded as a milestone in Springsteen’s 40-year (and counting) career, but there’s enough here to be convinced the Boss isn’t ready to be put out to pasture quite yet
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  17. 6.0 |   The Skinny

    See it as a spring clean of the archives, and, perhaps, an adieu to the big man Clarence Clemons, whose unmistakeable playing features here
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  18. 6.0 |   The Observer

    The overall impression is of a record playing with playfulness
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  19. 6.0 |   The Quietus

    Despite Bruce's high standards, not many of these songs sound really rare
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  20. 6.0 |   Evening Standard

    The simpler moments, such as Frankie Fell in Love’s glorious melody and the rollicking Just Like Fire Would, have the greatest appeal
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  21. 6.0 |   The Guardian

    High Hopes may be a stopgap, but it is one assembled with tender, loving care
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  22. 6.0 |   Daily Telegraph

    Morello is the album’s guiding spirit. But while his agit-pop sensibility is a good fit with Springsteen’s socio-political conscience, his effects-laden guitar playing operates at odd angles to the deep roots sensibility of the E Street sound
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  23. 6.0 |   Mojo

    High Hopes is a good song collection rather than a great album. Print edition only

  24. 6.0 |   The Line Of Best Fit

    Will tide fans over until the next bona fide LP
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  25. 5.0 |   Consequence Of Sound

    High Hopes is a standstill album, momentous for being the first effort in a long time where The Boss appears speechless at the podium
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  26. 5.0 |   Spin

    The decade-spanning covers, outtakes, and remakes here — all these disparate moods and eras — make for an unwieldy mish-mash of an album with its seams apparent
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  27. 5.0 |   No Ripcord

    In summary, it's a grave disappointment. There was never a need to dress up some of these tracks as they have been
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  28. 5.0 |   Clash

    Too often ‘High Hopes’ falls beneath the songwriter’s own lofty standards
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  29. 4.0 |   Pitchfork

    An album that often sounds salvageable but continually trips over its own ambitions and good intentions
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  30. 4.0 |   Time Out

    Feels like the Boss on autopilot: big chords, big band, lashings of religious imagery but no real soul
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  31. 3.9 |   Paste Magazine

    High Hopes itself feels like an enigmatic, disjointed dream—one you ponder and ponder before deciding, “best not think too deeply on this one"
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Bruce Springsteen: High Hopes

  • Download full album for just £7.99
  • 1. High Hopes £0.99
  • 2. Harry's Place £0.99
  • 3. American Skin (41 Shots) £0.99
  • 4. Just Like Fire Would £0.99
  • 5. Down in the Hole £0.99
  • 6. Heaven's Wall £0.99
  • 7. Frankie Fell in Love £0.99
  • 8. This is Your Sword £0.99
  • 9. Hunter of Invisible Game £0.99
  • 10. The Ghost of Tom Joad £0.99
  • 11. The Wall £0.99
  • 12. Dream Baby Dream £0.99
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