Confirming recent rumors, Bruce Springsteen has officially announced the impending release of a new single -- and the latest reports indicate that it could be followed with a full-length album in early 2014.

The new song, 'High Hopes,' will arrive on Nov. 25, and although nothing's been confirmed yet, according to Billboard's sources, "a new Springsteen studio album could be out as early as January." If this rumor proves true, it'll represent yet another in a recent series of quick turnarounds for an artist whose famously deliberate pace led to a number of protracted delays between some of his most successful records. Springsteen's most recent batch of new material, 'Wrecking Ball,' is less than two years old, and it capped off a period that found him releasing six studio albums in a 10-year span.

The excitement of a new single is mixed with a few notes of confusion for some Springsteen fans, who not only recall that he first recorded 'High Hopes' for his 1996 'Blood Brothers' EP, but also question why he's chosen to revisit a song he didn't even write in the first place. As Billboard's report notes, 'High Hopes' was originally recorded by the Havalinas, a short-lived band whose folk-influenced rock sound proved unfortunately out of step with the times when they released their self-titled debut in 1990.

Although the song's a perfect fit for the ragged, high-energy sound Springsteen's favored in recent years, it's tempting to wonder if his decision to release this new version (which has already leaked online) indicates a lack of freshly written original material.

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