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article imageReview: Springsteen documentary 'High Hopes' premieres on HBO Special

By Mindy Peterman     Apr 4, 2014 in Entertainment
A new Bruce Springsteen documentary for the album "High Hopes" premieres on HBO on Friday, April 4. Good news for fans of "The Boss" but the film may disappoint the diehards.
Bruce Springsteen’s 18th album, High Hopes, is the subject of a new HBO documentary made by Emmy and Grammy award winning filmmaker Thom Zimny. In the film, Springsteen offers insights into the songs that make up the album.
These songs are not new. The fact that the album consists of “covers, outtakes, and reimagined versions of songs from past albums” is skimmed over but for the non-fanatic such as myself this is not important. What is impressive is when Springsteen talks about these songs like they are his kids, and how he came to write them or dig them out of obscurity.
The songs are important to him as are the songwriters who are responsible for writing them. To illustrate this, Springsteen speaks of unsung heroes and the respect they are due. Images of rock and rollers who were inspirational but never hit the big time flash on the screen. Interspersed with this are images of battle weary soldiers, also an inspiration to Springsteen. Each is important to him in their own way.
Clarence Clemons could never be replaced in the hearts and minds of the band or the fans, so Springsteen has chosen to augment The East Street Band’s sound with the grittiness and at times experimental meanderings of Tom Morello’s (Rage Against the Machine, Audioslave) guitar playing. It gives the music a modern edge that will have older fans intrigued and convince the younger ones their parents’ music wasn’t half bad.
That said, High Hopes will be something of a letdown for diehard Springsteen fans. Clocking in at only 30 minutes, it occasionally has the feel of an infomercial. Lyrics float across the screen as Springsteen sings an excerpt of one of the songs. Rarely is anything played in its entirety. For an album Springsteen feels so deeply about, it might have made more sense to tack on another thirty minutes of performance footage to give the songs their due. Music, after all, speaks louder.
More about Bruce springsteen, high hopes, Documentary, thom zimny, Rock and Roll
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