Springsteen spent his heyday rewriting and keeping much of his best material in the vaults because it didn’t fit whatever conceptual narrative he was telling –1978’s high-watermark Darkness on the Edge of Town alone generated 30-plus shelved tunes. Which makes The Boss’ decision to release this ragtag bag of recent outtakes (from 2002 to today), covers and re-recorded classics (‘The Ghost of Tom Joad’ and ‘American Skin (41 Shots)’. The muse behind these reimaginings is Tom Morello, whose temporary slot in the E Street Band led to his appearance on two-thirds of this collection. Revolutionary as a member of The Rage Against the Machine, in High Hopes, Morello’s trademark tricks verge from dazzling to parody but never sit alongside the traditional Bossisms. It’s an intriguing pairing, but a proper joint-penned collaboration is surely necessary to justify a full LP. As it is, we’re left with a set of schizophrenic Springsteen offcuts peppered with cool/garish guitar weirdness. Not that we’re necessarily complaining.
Bruce Springsteen: High Hopes - album review
Unnecessary but endearingly earnest set of offcuts from The Boss
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