Bruce Springsteen’s ‘High Hopes’ is over powered by Tom Morello’s style

LIKE A BOSS– Bruce Springsteen's cover for his latest album "High Hopes."
LIKE A BOSS– Bruce Springsteen’s cover for his latest album “High Hopes.” (Courtesy of Colombia Records)

By Megan G. Razzetti

 

Bruce Springsteen attempts to revive unreleased material in his latest album “High Hopes” with the help of Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello.

A follow up to 2012’s politically driven “Wrecking Ball,” Springsteen enlists Morello to add his revolutionary folk rock influence to Springsteen’s random mix of songs which include cover songs. Morello’s influence isn’t at all subtle throughout the album.

Morello’s  sound is present in Springsteen’s record so much that if Springsteen wasn’t singing it would be hard to imagine that it was actually his album.

With vocals done by both esteemed musicians on every track, the album should have both of them featured on the cover of it.

The best track on this album is Springsteen’s popular “The Ghost of Tom Joad” which has also been covered and included on the album “Renegades’’ by Rage Against the Machine.

The song written in the style of a blue collar legend, which Springsteen is known for, reminds the listener that they are listening are in fact listening to “The Boss.”

Although, Morello adds his vocals and guitar riffs to add a more modern feel to the song music fans ,Springsteen fans will appreciate the combination. It simply dominates the album.

 

The title track “High Hopes,” incorporates strong vocals from both Springsteen and Morello. It is a great experience to hear both sing together with a chorus accompanying them with a whirlwind of a melodic big band tying the song all together.

The composition of the track is well executed for the beginning of an album. One would expect that this would set the theme of the rest of the album however, it disappoints in doing so.

As the album progresses, the barely-there familiar style of Springsteen songs float back to the surface, but only for a short time with songs “Harry’s Place” and “American Skin (41 shots).”

Springsteen features a cover of “Just Like Fire Would,” originally by the Australian alternative rock band The Saints.

The cover hints of a vintage Springsteen sound that is found usually in his older songs with the E Street Band.

The high energy sound found in “High Hopes” has suddenly made another appearance in “Heaven’s Wall.”

The incorporation of a church choir backing up main vocals by Springsteen and Morello once again, giving a surge of musical energy that is very much needed at this point of the album.

“Frankie Fell in Love” is rather surprising because Morello takes a turn singing imitating Springsteen’s vocals from his early days of his career.

It is a catchy ballad that has a country sound that once again gives a boost to the album it needs.

    The album ends with a cover of “Dream Baby Dream,” originally by Suicide, a highly influential electronic protopunk musical duo.

Although a cover, it reminds the listener of who they are listening to.

The fact that Springsteen choses a select few cover songs gives an intimate look into what kind of songs he enjoys personally.

Springsteen’s voice resonates throughout this sweet and simple ballad giving fans a great ending to the album.

    Bruce Springsteen’s ‘High Hopes’ is available in stores or for download on iTunes.

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