Western Stars

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Bossman66
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Western Stars

Post by Bossman66 » Fri Jun 21, 2019 7:41 pm

As Bruce Springsteen’s new album Western Stars debuts at no1, his 11th, I wonder have you heard it and what do you think?

It’s quite different for him with considerable orchestration. I wrote a lengthy review for the Springsteen fan sites, but been having trouble copying and pasting it.

Bossman

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Bossman66
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Re: Western Stars

Post by Bossman66 » Fri Jun 21, 2019 7:46 pm

Review -Part 1

Western Stars by Bruce Springsteen - Sworn to secrecy I’ve been listening to the album for a couple of days and I adore it already as it grows with every listen.

Bruce Springsteen returns with his best work, in my opinion, since Magic in 2007, or possibly as far back as 1987’s Tunnel Of Love.

It’s a widescreen homage, very lush with strings and horns making it feel very warm and comforting , in 13 short stories, to the wide open spaces of the USA, populated by characters who often feel weary to me, past their prime, down but not out, sometimes looking back. Often they remind me of Mickey Rourke’s Randy ‘The Ram’ Robinson from ‘The Wrestler’ insofar that you feel you are rooting for them. It’s also a homage to the late 60’s/early 70’s pop you associate with the likes of Burt Bacharach, Glen Campbell with Jimmy Webb and Nilsson, even Neil Diamond. When the backing, be it strings, horns or orchestration and vocals combine it really becomes a big and beautiful thing.

The first 2 tracks are about travellers, by road in opener ‘Hitch Hikin’ and by car & presumably on foot in ‘The Wayfarer’. Hitch Hikin opens quite acoustically but opens up as many of the tracks do adding instrumentation as it builds. The hitcher gets 3 rides from a family man, a trucker and a gearhead (presumably a boy racer or petrolhead?). The family man has his pregnant (wife? or partner) Sally with him and Bruce the hitcher notes ‘Yes indeed sir, children are a gift, Thank you kindly for the lift’, the former the first killer line I reckon, for any parents at least. It feels a more positive chosen existence than that of The Wayfarer (which is the stronger of the 2 for me) where you feel he is more of a drifter.

By track 3 Tucson Train it feels like we’ve moved to the sunshine of the West Coast (from San Francisco). Slightly more of a country feel with a bit of twang to his vocal delivery, perhaps in the vein of Johnny Cash. He’s a crane operator waiting for his baby, who he has split with after a row over nothing, coming in on the 5.15 from Tucson and he feels positive, like she’s coming, although we don’t find out for sure that she’s definitely arrived.

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Bossman66
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Re: Western Stars

Post by Bossman66 » Fri Jun 21, 2019 7:54 pm

There’s more but I can’t copy it across. No idea why.

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Bossman66
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Re: Western Stars

Post by Bossman66 » Fri Jun 21, 2019 7:59 pm

the message I’m getting when I try to post more. Anyone any ideas why?

I thought it might be the number of characters when I managed to post part 1, but shortening part 2 has not helped....




Precondition Failed

The precondition on the request for the URL /posting.php evaluated to false.

Peter T.
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Re: Western Stars

Post by Peter T. » Wed Jun 26, 2019 9:48 pm

I'll always love Bruce (saw him 40 times), and along with The Clash, the greatest concerts I've ever experienced, but looking at his career, from 1973 to the present, it's been a long slide into mediocrity! Is it too little time in the studio? An inner circle who can't speak the truth to him? An over inflated sense of self-importance? A well that has simply run dry?

The new disc, Western Stars, is largely set in the Southwest and offers cliched stories of small town folks, men on the move, etc. etc. Nothing new here. And what a squandered opportunity. With America in the screwed up state its in, with so much international turmoil, we get this crap. I know, he doesn't owe us anything. But shit, put on some Clash albums, dammit, and try to remember why you got into this line of work! There's hardly a pulse to be found, and no songs that just HAD to be written, no sense of urgency, no new perspectives offered. And are the only Americans worthy of his attention those with blue collar jobs?

And Rolling Stone, as big a suck-up to the Springsteen Industrial Complex as any publication, gave Western Stars the lowest rating its ever given a Springsteen album, 4 out of 5! Does Jon Landau have illicit photos of Rolling Stone's editors?

I think my criticism is so pointed because I hold him in such high personal regard. Love his social concerns, and boundless charitable endeavors, but his voice shouldn't be absent today. He needn't follow the path of his buddy, Robert DeNiro (F*** Trump), but he damn well should take a much more public stand on the state we're in! Okay, now have at me, folks.

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Bossman66
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Re: Western Stars

Post by Bossman66 » Thu Jun 27, 2019 5:09 pm

Wow, as Bruce said 'One Man's coffee...'

I think it's the best thing he's done in 20 years.

Bossman
Amy worked in a bar in Exeter, Springsteen came clear in my headphones - Frank, did you write these lyrics for me?

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