The lead single off of the album is Led Zeppelin's "Immigrant Song." It's easily one of the best tracks on the album. It has a catchy hook and a fantastic lead guitar grind. At one point, I was reminded of Rage Against The Machine. Despite the classic rock roots, I think this has a chance of gaining traction with the modern rock crowd.
"Darkness, Darkness" (The Youngbloods) is another powerful song from the album. Despite the wailing electric guitar throughout, it reminds me of Appalachian tragic ballads. The song deals with the darkness of despair and depression, and is equally suited to the high lonesome sound of mountain music, as well as the gothic rock vocal that is presented by Wilson. "Darkness, darkness, be my blanket / Cover me with the endless night / Take away, take away the pain of knowing / Fill the emptiness of right now."
I would never have thought to pair Wilson's vocals with the sweetly pure vocals of Alison Krauss, but some how it works on "War of Man" (Neil Young). Perhaps it is because Young has a similarly fragile sound. It also helps that they have the strong foundation of such a well-written song. With Krauss's vocals, the song is imbued with an ethereal feel that along with Wilson's strong voice enhance the message of the lyrics.
There are two songs on Hope & Glory I could do without. Elton John's vocals on "Where to Now St. Peter?" are jarring, although I can understand why Wilson chose that song for the album — it deals with the afterlife of a dead soldier. My issue with "We Gotta Get Out of this Place" (The Animals) is the disappointing chorus hook after the anticipation and build-up of the verses. Maybe it's the arrangement, or maybe it's a weak point transferred from the original, but it irks me every time.