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Wellington Daily News - Wellington, KS
Reviews appear for Springsteen’s ‘High Hopes’ – and they’re mixed
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By Pete Chianca
Dec. 29, 2013 12:01 a.m.


high_hopesThe new Bruce Springsteen album “High Hopes” may or may not have leaked on the Internet this weekend — we don’t know anything and even if we did you wouldn’t be able to get anything out of us. It’s in the vault. (If you ask Billboard, though, an errant button-pressing over at Amazon mp3 may have triggered the early unveiling.)
What we do know is that reviews are starting to pop up in the international press, and early word is pointing more toward a “Working on a Dream” than a “Wrecking Ball” in terms of critical response.
Q Magazine in the UK, for one, is giving two thumbs up (or whatever finger they use over there) to the collection of rejiggered outtakes and old tracks. The review’s not online, but you can see a shot of the print version on The Circuit at Greasy Lake. “What could have been desperate barrel scraping is full of unpredictability and power,” writes Dorian Lynsky, lauding Tom Morello’s guitar contributions and the album’s collection of “interesting characters,” the absence of which was a sticking point for some people less than enamored of “Wrecking Ball.”
But Neil McCormick at the Telegraph is less happy with Morello’s efforts, saying†his “effects-laden guitar playing operates at odd angles to the deep roots sensibility of the E Street sound,” particularly on the Springsteen-Morello duet reworking of “The Ghost of Tom Joad”:

Morello tips a revamped Ghost Of Tom Joad completely over the top, taking the quiet dignity of the acoustic 1995 original and turning it into a zany prog rock wig-out. The pieces of the song donít quite fit together, and the same might be said of the whole album.

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