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  1. This track came onto my itunes. Two songs on one track. Near 7 minutes of sheer bliss where the joy comes as much from the sweet (yet almost aching!) nostalgia it conjures up for me as much as the truly gorgeous melancholic vocal melodies from Chris Martin. I was 17 and starting the last year at school when they released this and it rang through my ears throughout that whole year. Coldplay were never better than they were on this album. I absolutely loved it and still do.
  2. I just gave it a full listen for the first time since July. I've listened to all songs individually in the weeks since but what with the autumnal turn of the year it felt apt to listen once more in October's more dreich melancholy settings away from the sunny turn of early summer when we first heard it. On hearing it in its entirety once more it struck me just how much I underestimated musical elements first time round. The gorgeous violin solo on Stones just adds to the fleeting nature of the album. I referenced before the sweeping strings that lifted Western Stars into the expansive beyond but I forgot just how stunning the yawning, dusk filled atmospherics of that lap steel guitar (or is it a pedal steel?!) was. It just adds to the sense of solitude of the song and the whole album. And there's also that glorious peak in Bruce's voice on There Goes My Miracle. His voice adds power to the strings and the strings return the favour. That song along with Sleepy Joe's Cafe really add a dash of extra colour and joy to the album. It's great to see people attributing this album as a masterpiece. I wholeheartedly agree. There's always a reluctance (or perhaps a refusal) by fans and critics to grant masterpiece status to established institutions so late in their career. I'm not sure why. But there's no doubt in my mind that this is a masterpiece. It's my favourite album of the last 10 years. It is a spirited, heartfelt and tender piece of brilliance. And yet it is also shining in it's wisdom and gratitude for the years and decades that have settled into and been reflected by the music of the album.
  3. I absolutely agree with you. If it weren't for some hard core nut in the Glasgow crowd back in 2013 with his/her Jole Blon sign I would never have discovered what a superb track it was. And as it was, it was one of the most joyful moments on a beautiful evening crammed full of them.
  4. What a wonderful post. A real pleasure to read - thank you! So oquent and thoughtful.
  5. Seeing as it is 50 years since man walked on the moon did anyone see Apollo 11 recently? I saw it at the cinema a couple of weeks ago and really found it astonishing. The clarity of the archive footage was stunning and it all perfectly crystalises humanity's greatest achievement. In particular, the lift off scene really blew me away (no pun intended). All that noise and fire - it was beautiful! I was really transfixed by the camera tracking this beautiful and graceful rocket way into the heavens. It's hard to believe that human minds would calculate, engineer and construct such awesome force for such great means. It's just a real shame that generations have come into this world since and not witnessed anything quite as magnificent. We could all benefit from experiencing a bit of wonder and awe in witnessing a matching/surpassing feat. Hopefully one day, sooner rather than later. Nothing better reminds you of how amazing human beings can be and the incredible things that can happen when great minds get together united in one aspiration. And how sad is it that Neil Armstrong isn't with us today to celebrate this anniversary? Those words he uttered and that name - it's the epitome of iconic. His is probably the first name any kid will learn of in history at school, I know it was for me. So for many he's not just the first man on the moon but also the first man of history. May he rest in peace. Overall - what a film! Definitely up there in my favourite ever documentary films.
  6. I adore One Step Up - it's the first song I'll go to when I think of Bruce's many many masterpieces (more often than not for the benefit of an iTunes playlist). Looking back I have probably listened to it more times than any other song of his. It's filled with so much haunting regret and brutal self reflection - as you note certainly amongst the truest song he's ever written. The melody is as beautiful as Bruce's honesty. 'I'm sitting here in this bar tonight but all I'm thinking is 'I'm the same old story, same old act.' That line cuts deep.
  7. Does anyone know exactly when and where Western Stars was recorded? Back in 2016 he said to Vanity Fair that the album had been finished and sitting on his shelf for over a year (which means it was completed in 2015) but I wonder if he revisited it in that time to make a few changes?
  8. One of the best compliments I can pay to this beautiful record is that it is the album that Bruce was searching for when he originally disbanded the E Street Band.
  9. As JimCT noted above, it's the summer solstice, or the Simmer Dim as they call it in the Orkney Islands (where I come from). Since I am not there and I am down here (in London) what better time than to listen to this beautiful piece by Orcadian Erland Cooper? It comes from his latest record Sule Skerry - an album inspired by the seas that surround and very much define Orkney. Needless to say, it cures a little bit of homesickness! Given the islands northern proximity on the map, it is a time of year when the sky never gives itself into complete darkness. The odd star may make an appearance but they very much play a minor role as the sky majestically shares the wind torn canvas of Orkney with that of sea and land. Of course, nature's trade off will come later on in the year when summer luminescence is exchanged for the aphotic despair of the long storm swept nights of winter. But for now it's a pretty glorious and spiritual time of the year up north.
  10. Thank you Kay. And I totally agree with you - it's a special artist that can really drill deep into fans consciousness, extract their thoughts and express them fully. One of only a handful of artists I could talk and write endlessly about. And Bruce really is one of a kind. It's lovely to read people's thoughts and emotions over his music on this site especially on this album.
  11. This is my first post on this forum. I've loved reading all your responses to this album and listening to it for the past few days compelled me to give my own perspective on Western Stars. In short - I adore it! It's lovely reading so many of you who share the same feelings for this. There's so much to unpick (and I won't bore you all with trying to unpick everything in this post) but I love it's totality most of all. There's something so wholesome and complete about the sound - the soaring, sweeping cinematic strings seem to release these songs to vast horizons and scenery that are cathartic in their impact. The strings seem to add to the characters Bruce has written so tenderly about, giving them a sense of freedom to these somewhat lonely, experienced and ageing characters that populate the album. For me, the beauty of Springsteen's music are the heartbreaking landscapes that he conjures up in his lyrics that are an extension of the characters that arise out of them. And what landscapes they are! I can't tell you how much I'd love to take a journey deep into the heart of western America - a place which seems to define a lonely sense of liberty and idealism not just for the characters but I'm sure for plenty of listeners out there. He just takes you out of your chaotic surroundings, your own chaotic mind and takes you to those beautiful and idyllic landscapes of America. That moment about 2 minutes into Western Stars (the song) when our character breaks for freedom from his tiresome, aged life and journeys out to the desert defines that perfectly for me. What a breathtaking moment that is in such a wonderful song as well! My favourite song though has to be Moonlight Motel - one of those tunes you don't want to listen to too much because you fear that having it on repeat may wear it out. But it's impossible to resist such is it's heart-rending beauty. It's the most perfect ending to a beautiful album. The imagery of the boarded up Motel, sitting alone in the middle of nowhere, remembering and having a drink to people and places who are long gone was certainly enough to bring a tear to my eye. In all, it's just an album of beautiful characters and beautiful places. They are the kind of places where, because the landscapes stay the same from decade to decade, time slows and perhaps our escapism to these places is a yearning to slow or halt the passing of time which we all come to realise goes by too quickly. I kind of feel Bruce thinks the same and maybe my love (our love?) for this album, and in particular Moonlight Motel, stems from having these realities reflected back to us. The recognition or the reminiscence of the passing of time that sweeps through the album turns it into a reflection about getting older and how some people increasingly seek, perhaps mournfully, for some form of Eden or paradise before the sun sets on their own horizons.