Bruce Springsteen: High Hopes!

Bruce Springsteen’s 18th studio album could hardly form a starker contrast to its immediate predecessor. Where 2012′s Wrecking Ball was a finely focused howl of rage at the bankers behind the global financial crisis, High Hopes is a loose ragbag of curios, covers and reworked old material.

Springsteen recorded it on the road, which means that this uncharacteristically scattergun material is lent cohesion by an E Street Band bang on top of their game. Springsteen cherrypicks from his back catalogue judiciously, with standouts including American Skin (41 Shots), originally written in reaction to the 1999 NYPD shooting of Amadou Diallo and now rededicated to Trayvon Martin.