There’s a new Bruce Springsteen album in town. High Hopes is a fresh collection, but think of it more like a mix-tape of Bruce songs: songs he felt could kick up a notch, songs he’s covered by favorite musicians, and songs suggested to him by collaborators.
The Year of Nonlinear Thinking
I think of Bruce Springsteen as being one of our most responsive artist. Albums carry a message, a through-line, from beginning to end. And I bet there will be a really “new” collection of songs out, too. But for now, it’s a “back to the cutting room floor” thing he does from time to time. Plus, an amazing tour raging. And speaking of “raging,” Tom Morello is in the mix. The Rolling Stone recently went in deep with Bruce, where he spoke about how Tom fits into the picture.
Tom’s a very intellectually-inspiring guy. He has a lot of ideas. He’s very articulate about them, and very casual as we worked together. He has so much creativity. I’d just send him a track and he’d send me back four or five things that were just terrific. He was another way that I unified this particular group of material. He became a filter that I ran all of that music through, and he would send it back to me with a very current slant on it. I’m not sure if the record would exactly exist without his influence. He really allowed me to tie it all together, in a way that I’ve been looking for that I hadn’t found. He just really brought that stuff to life.
Tom really makes this new album ROCK! That is obvious. And on the resurrection of say, “Ghost of Tom Joad” and “American Skin,” Bruce tells RS:
“Those were two songs that I said, “Okay, these are two of my best songs that I’ve written over the past 10 or 20 years.. And they didn’t have a formal presentation on a studio record.”
I get the feeling that Tom allowed Bruce to let those two songs really bang out, as they were perhaps intended to do. And NOW could.
Favorite High Hopes Moment
It comes at the end. Back in the Devils and Dust tour, I can recall, vividly, Bruce closing out the show that August evening in Portland on the pump organ, by himself, on a song from one of the New York bands he calls “underground masters.” A song he deeply loves. And it shows. It’s from Suicide. And if you were at that concert, you know what I am talking about. Below is an incredible video produced by the Bruce team, from so many bits of the Wrecking Ball tour, with the song that closes out this new album.