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Bruce Springsteen, High Hopes (Columbia Records)




Bruce Springsteen, High Hopes (Columbia Records)
Album review

01/16/14
By Eric Saeger news@hippopress.com



 Face it, Bruce has made a career out of posturing. The cover pic from Darkness at the Edge of Town, for example, which depicted him as the downtrodden workin’ stiff he played for over a decade, was hand-picked by Bruce to capture the essence of “that guy,” i.e. the guy he was before “all this.” Then there was the mellow-Elvis-with-Quarterflash’s-keyboards during the late ‘80s, and then it was the Baptist preacher dude, taking us to now, where all he really knows about being a working musician is that T-Bone Burnett is currently important. For High Hopes, Springsteen and producer Ron Aniello (carried over from 2012’s Wrecking Ball) have concocted a new set of politely muddy Burnett-centric blues-rock tunes that would play just fine at Foxwoods (“Harry’s Place” has a cool acid-flashback fadeout, but even your grandmother’s ears are used to that by now). The smarmy “41 Shots” spotlights Socially Concerned Bruce, metal-ballad lead guitars squalling over Bruce’s plaintive pitch for ending racial profiling (rock will save the downtrodden, no, really this time!). And there’s filler, of course, an ironic ripoff of John Cougar’s “Small Town” (titled “Just Like Fire Would,” in case you need a good eye roll).  I’m going to go crank “Out in the Street” now and try to forget this. C- — Eric W. Saeger

 
As seen in the January 16th, 2014 issue of The Hippo





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