I've been disappointed in the past when a "classic" rock star puts out a studio album of new work twenty or thirty years after their last top-ten single made the charts. That's not the case with High Hopes, Springsteen's 2014 release.
Of course, Springsteen hardly falls into the category of the star who rests on his or her laurels, putting on concert tours that rely completely on their catalog of hits-gone-by and releasing what seems like dozens of versions of "greatest hits"; albums.
The Boss never stopped putting out good, new music at fairly regular intervals, and most of his studio releases have made it to #3 or higher on the album charts, with the exception of the underrated 1995 The Ghost of Tom Joad, which only made it to #11 ("only" being a term that applies because we're talking about Springsteen).
2012's Wrecking Ball was good. High Hopes is even better.
High Hopes - A Mix of Old and New
The title track is actually a cover. Tim Scott (AKA Ledfoot) wrote recorded it with L.A. band The Havalinas in 1990--a great track in its own right. Springsteen's version has more power but, to be fair, the Havalinas didn't have the Boss' virtually unlimited production resources. Also, there were just three of them and Springsteen has, well, just about everyone. There are even tracks on the album featuring Clarence Clemons and Danny Federici, who died in 2011 and 2008. There are also re-workings of songs from previous releases, including "American Skin (41 Shots)," which was first heard on the Live in New York City , and the title track from The Ghost of Tom Joad. Both are distinctly different from the original versions.
Tom Morello's Guitars Add Layers
The former Rage Against the Machine member not only brings his scouring riffs to the album, but he's touring with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band on the upcoming 2014 tour. If you want to decide for yourself whether he's a great addition to the group, check out the video for "Harry's Place," possibly my favorite song from the album.
Source: YouTube Bruce Springsteen - Harry's Place (High Hopes)
Bruce Springsteen 2014 Tour Set List
Individual concerts will, of course, vary, but here is the set list from the February 8, 2014 appearance at the Perth Arena in Perth, Australia: