A couple of weeks ago I reviewed Bruce Springsteen’s new album, High Hopes. It’s a bit of a departure from the way he usually works — unfinished tracks from the vault, no overarching theme, a few covers, etc. — and I wanted to see if I was alone in my overall opinion, which was “Yeah, this is OK, but it’s not blowing me away.” That’s not usually my reaction to a new Springsteen record.

So I thought I’d ask a few of my friends to pop on Skype and discuss it all, but when I ran it by some of my Popdose colleagues, they all declined for the following reasons:

  • Jeff Giles was drunk.
  • Chris Holmes was too busy scrolling through old Sears catalogs.
  • Rob Smith was having sex with Jeff’s mom.
  • Ted Asregadoo got stuck in Bay Area traffic.
  • Matt Wardlaw was sorting through his collection of REO Speedwagon outtakes.
  • Michael Parr had to post photos of his latest culinary delights on Facebook.
  • Jack Feerick doesn’t like me.
  • Matt Springer was willing, but he had to sort through J.J. Abrams’ garbage for any clues about the new Star Wars movies.
  • Jason Hare has never heard of Bruce Springsteen.

I had to go to some real Springsteen fans, like the crew at Blogness on the Edge of Town (whose founder, “Outlaw” Pete Chianca, used to like to hang out with us). So Pete, along with Blogness correspondents Deb Filcman and Anne Haines, joined me and we talked for a little less than an hour about what we liked and didn’t like about High Hopes. I edited in a few clips of some songs, and here it is.

A Discussion About High Hopes by Bruce Springsteen (50.0 MB, 54:42)