Bruce Springsteen - High Hopes
Critic Score
Based on 36 reviews
2014 Ratings: #842 / 995
User Score
Based on 83 ratings
2014 Ratings: #343
January 14, 2014 / Release Date
LP / Format
Columbia / Label
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There’s a spirit of collaboration that is largely new, a genuine and warm-hearted celebration of past members’ contributions and a celebration of the rowdy, uplifting storm cooked up by the 18-strong modern incarnation of the group.

Drowned in Sound

High Hopes is not going to shock anyone, but it is Springsteen's most vital-sounding set since The Seeger Sessions.


His 18th record is notable for giving his unfathomably sexy version of Suicide’s ‘Dream Baby Dream’ a home, and for developing his friendship with Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello, who rocks up for a riff-heavy ‘The Ghost Of Tom Joad’. 

American Songwriter

High Hopes plays very much like a sequel to Wrecking Ball, but Springsteen is less angry and blameful, more cheerfully weary this time around.


These 12 songs don't cohere into a mood or narrative but after two decades of deliberate, purposeful albums, it's rather thrilling to hear Springsteen revel in a mess of contradictions.

The Line of Best Fit

It feels more like a miscellany marking his rejuvenation after a rather uncertain spell in the 90s, as well as a timely memento of those still-spectacular live shows. 


The decade-spanning covers, outtakes, and remakes here — all these disparate moods and eras — make for an unwieldy mish-mash of an album with its seams apparent.


On High Hopes the thick arrangements distract from the good songwriting and conceal the bad, often to the extent that it’s impossible to discern which is which.

Consequence of Sound

High Hopes is a standstill album, momentous for being the first effort in a long time where The Boss appears speechless at the podium.

has some decent songs on it, but the album overall is just messy
Not very good. Bruce's voice is in fine fettle but he seems to be creatively empty. There's nothing of real interest on this LP and it sounds like he knows it.

Tom Morello's guitar work is pretty good throughout and is at times somewhat of a saving grace.

Essential track - The Ghost of Tome Joad
'High Hopes' is one of Bruce's worst albums but it doesn't mean it's bad. The first two tracks are very so-so, both are the worst of the whole record, so I thought that it could go down, but thankfully it gets better. "Heaven's Wall" is also relatively passable, but the rest is solid and nice. Here, Bruce recycles some old material: there is an electric version of "The Ghost of Tom Joad" and a studio rendition of "American Skin", a protest against racism and police ... read more
Just really dragged out and boring, this goes on way too long for an album that is this generic.

Best Track: The Ghost of Tom Joad
Worst Track: Down in the Hole
Heaven's Wall,Frankie Fell In Love
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Track List

  1. High Hopes [ft. Tom Morello]
  2. Harry's Place  [ft. Tom Morello]
  3. American Skin (41 Shots)  [ft. Tom Morello]
  4. Just Like Fire Would  [ft. Tom Morello]
  5. Down in the Hole
  6. Heaven's Wall  [ft. Tom Morello]
  7. Frankie Fell in Love
  8. This Is Your Sword
  9. Hunter of Invisible Game  [ft. Tom Morello]
  10. The Ghost of Tom Joad  [ft. Tom Morello]
  11. The Wall
  12. Dream Baby Dream  [ft. Tom Morello]

Year End Lists

#2/Rolling Stone
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Added on: November 25, 2013