As Sean Penn says as Harvey Milk in the film 'Milk': "You gotta give them hope." In these times, some might contend that the Springsteen albums to be listening to are 'Nebraska' and 'The Ghost of Tom Joad'; others would say that light beats dark every time - and for them that's where 'Working on a Dream' comes in.

It's bookended by two songs - 'Outlaw Pete' and 'The Last Carnival' - which feel like they belong on a different album (closer 'The Wrestler' is a bonus track tacked on following that film's success) but what's between them is Springsteen's most upbeat and poppy collection in years. Hung up on love, heavy on strings and harking back to the sounds of the 1960s, this record has its way with you every time - favourites are interchangeable, fascination remains constant.

There's as much joy and inspiration to be had here in hearing someone deliver on every track as there is in the stories of people putting their hearts on the line for others. If it sounds this great now, it'll be colossal with a bit of sunshine.

Harry Guerin