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Wayne Post
Bruce Springsteen fans from Asbury Park and beyond blog about The Boss
Springsteen keeps us on our toes (again!) with ‘High Hopes’
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The writers of this blog are not music critics, and they don't consider a second (or third, fourth or fifth) mortgage to be a perfectly reasonable course of action to pay for front-row tickets, but despite being a whole lot more middle aged than ...
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Bruce Springsteen
The writers of this blog are not music critics, and they don't consider a second (or third, fourth or fifth) mortgage to be a perfectly reasonable course of action to pay for front-row tickets, but despite being a whole lot more middle aged than they were when they first put \x34Born in the U.S.A.\x34 or \x34The River\x34 down on the turntable, still feels like Bruce has something -- OK, a lot of things -- to say about our country and the way we live our lives, things that not a lot of other artists are saying. And whether he's talking about the knife that can cut this pain from your heart, the house that's waiting for you to walk in or what that flag flying over the courthouse means, he's nailing down feelings that are so universal that they can raise your spirits and break your heart at the same time. Plus, let¹s face it, the man rocks.
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By Pete Chianca
Nov. 19, 2013 12:10 p.m.



Aren’t you glad Bruce Springsteen isn’t one of those artists who announces everything months in advance? You know, those artists listed in the “Fall Music Preview” of Entertainment Weekly, with neat little release dates for their albums that you can mark with a big “X” on your calendar? That’s so everybody-else-in-the-music-industry, but not our boy Bruce. He likes to keep us guessing.

Hence our current (all too familiar) situation, where we have one precious scrap of information — a new single coming next week, a cover of the Havalinas song “High Hopes,” already recorded once by Springsteen in 1996 — and lots and lots of speculation. Is it the first single off a new album? Part of a “Tracks 2″ compilation? A digital only release? Did someone hack into the Danish music service Wimp and plant it there as a ruse? Is our existence actually a simulated reality created by sentient machines to subdue the human population? I say: All of the above!

I don’t blame this on an incompetent publicity machine (although granted, somebody at Springsteen Inc. was responsible for this), but rather on Bruce’s I-will-sell-no-wine-before-its-time attitude to his new releases — the music isn’t ready until it is, and when it is he gets it out there, well-orchestrated publicity campaign be damned. (Hence the official “announcement,” which is basically just the cover art.) Meanwhile, intentional or not, the frenzied social media rumor fest certainly doesn’t hurt in terms of drumming up anticipation, even if we do get the occasional Arcade at Night fiasco as a result.

So what of “High Hopes”? First of all, I can’t be the only one who thought of this when I first saw it pop up on the setlist from Australia last March:



Fast Tube



Fast Tube by Casper


You can thank me later for putting that in your head. Of course, the actual song is a bit bouncier, and perfectly suited for the new XXL version of the E Street Band — Springsteen’s interaction with Everett Bradley in the Australia clip is priceless:



Fast Tube



Fast Tube by Casper


No denying it’s a fun number. But that said, if the new single — likely recorded with Tom Morello during the much-mentioned Australia recording sessions this year, but of course we have no idea — is in fact the harbinger of a new studio album, it would be the first time a regular Springsteen release (his Seeger Sessions work excepted) featured a cover. Combine that with the fact that it’s a previously recorded cover and it’s reasonable to fear we might be in store for a quickie release to justify future touring — maybe a covers-only effort. Good for those of us eager to see him again, maybe not so good for people who feel like every Springsteen album should at least make an attempt at being a perfectly crafted, original masterpiece.

If it’s part of a “Tracks 2,” though, that’s potentially a better option — Springsteen’s archive material is always fascinating, and it would buy him time to let a new album percolate a little longer.

In the end, though, let’s face it — we love to keep guessing. And as I’ve said many times, given his track record I’ll trust the man to make the right decisions regarding his music and how and when he decides to get it to us. After all, would you want him to be like U2, announcing their album six months ahead of time and even announcing the first commercial for the album with months to spare?

BOOOORING.

UPDATE: Now Billboard is speculating about a new album, citing the ever-reliable “sources.”

UPDATE UPDATE: If you’re in the USA you can (for some reason) listen to Springsteen’s new single “High Hopes” on MOG. Spoiler alert: It’s good! (Lots of horns and drums and Morello guitar.)

 

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