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NEW ALBUM: Western Stars - June 14


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This excitement takes me back to 2005 on GreasyLake when the leaked “Devils And Dust” first circulated via mp3 downloads for us to hear for the first time.  I recall that every 30 seconds there was an electronic voice that cut in and said “AOL First Listen”.  Those were the days.

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1 hour ago, mad man with a box said:

Fantastic single - warm sound and nice bittersweet feel to the lyrics

 

I really love "miles to go is still miles away" - lovely turn of phrase

Couple of great lines in there. I’ve not really loved an album lyrically since Magic.There were moments on WB but mostly I just really like the sound of that album.

I’m pretty hopeful lyrically for this one.

As an aside, I’m starting to think Ron Aniello is the best thing that’s happened to his music for a long, long time. Loved the sound of everything he’s touched so far. 

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Do we have information as to when the album was actually recorded? Perhaps before Wrecking Ball, The River tour, or more recent? His vocals on Broadway seem tired and weary, understandably so. But Hello Sunshine sounds rested, though older and long of years. I really like it and exceeds my expectations vocally for a man my Dad's age. 

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1 minute ago, fadeaway said:

Do we have information as to when the album was actually recorded? Perhaps before Wrecking Ball, The River tour, or more recent? His vocals on Broadway seem tired and weary, understandably so. But Hello Sunshine sounds rested, though older and long of years. I really like it and exceeds my expectations vocally for a man my Dad's age. 

getting older is weird 

i was watching a movie the other day - it can't have been very good because i can't remember - but i thought thw lead character's father waa particulary attractive....and he waa over 70

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19 minutes ago, Buddhabone said:

Love the ending...how it builds and then there is that lovely piano riff and it fades away.

God, love it.

The ending, after he stops singing, is the best part of the song. 

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1 minute ago, Daisey Jeep said:

getting older is weird 

i was watching a movie the other day - it can't have been very good because i can't remember - but i thought thw lead character's father waa particulary attractive....and he waa over 70

It's funny how beauty ages with us. Yes.. it's weird. haha

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9 minutes ago, fadeaway said:

Do we have information as to when the album was actually recorded? Perhaps before Wrecking Ball, The River tour, or more recent? His vocals on Broadway seem tired and weary, understandably so. But Hello Sunshine sounds rested, though older and long of years. I really like it and exceeds my expectations vocally for a man my Dad's age. 

The bulk of it is pre Wrecking Ball,Bruce stopped working on this album to make Wrecking Ball.

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I really like it, but then I am a fan of much of the classic country that this sound evokes.  I have finally figured out what the melody immediately reminded me of--to me, it sounds similar to Dwight Yoakam's 1000 Miles.  

 

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57 minutes ago, Captain Chaos said:

Couple of great lines in there. I’ve not really loved an album lyrically since Magic.There were moments on WB but mostly I just really like the sound of that album.

I’m pretty hopeful lyrically for this one.

As an aside, I’m starting to think Ron Aniello is the best thing that’s happened to his music for a long, long time. Loved the sound of everything he’s touched so far. 

Adding on to this sentiment, Bruce is quoted as saying this album is a return to his "character-driven songs" (woot!) yet I don't hear much of that in Hello Sunshine so there's got to be more of that on the album which has me way more excited than I previously was.  

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7 minutes ago, Lost Cowboy said:

I really like it, but then I am a fan of much of the classic country that this sound evokes.  I have finally figured out what the melody immediately reminded me of--to me, it sounds similar to Dwight Yoakam's 1000 Miles.  

 

Can't hear this either and I like the tune.  I really don't hear Everybody's Talkin' at all.

Did someone earlier say there is a similarity between HS and Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head?  I used to have to do morning exercises to that song when I was in elementary school.  So weird to see that song mentioned as I hadn't thought of it for years and years and years.

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On another thread, as a comment to "someone" saying that Bruce's singing was lazy, I said that it was good lazy. And I think that's what makes the song appealing to me, the "good" laziness and the hint of resignation that's there. Like the resignation of the acoustic live Youngstown but without the anger and nerve bubbling beneath the surface. HS is the sound of a more laid back Bruce, but not a content Bruce. There's nothing of that Springsteen-y nerve and passion, that could go very wrong (see American Beauty as orime example of passion and energy gone wrong). It's very appropriate for his age. 

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Has this article been posted yet?  It received a rare link on the DrudgeReport this morning....

https://www.npr.org/2019/04/26/717330166/bruce-springsteen-finds-a-new-sound-by-looking-to-the-past

In the early 1970s, the singer-songwriter Danny O'Keefe had a "very mellow, beautiful friend," as he told Rolling Stone magazine, who'd lived too hard and was paying the consequences. Heart attacks and pain pills burdened the guy's life, and O'Keefe, himself rolling into his thirties, identified. O'Keefe told his friend's story in the ballad "Good Time Charlie's Got the Blues" – one of the loveliest, most soothing accounts of creeping oblivion popular music has produced. It was a hit for the Washington state-born singer-songwriter and remains a favorite for others to cover, from Elvis and Waylon Jennings to Dwight Yoakam.

"Hello Sunshine," the new song from Bruce Springsteen's upcoming album Western Stars (to be released June 14) dwells within the same uneasy drift. It begins with a sharp snare drum fill interacting with the sleepy undertow of a fifth interval on the bass – the sonic equivalent of a speedball. Springsteen intones: "Had enough of heartbreak and pain, had a little sweet spot for the rain." Up close to the mic, his voice conveys its usual depth and scope, but a smudge of weariness, too. As the arrangement grows more complex, rich with strings and pedal steel guitar, the lyrics stay simple. "You know I always love the lonely towns, those empty streets no one around," Springsteen continues. Then, in a line that might remind you of Willie Nelson: "You fall in love with lonely, you end up that way."

The song reaches tentatively toward optimism with its orchestral swell and its title line, which warily welcomes the sunshine that dispels the grey mood of the rest of the song. But this ballad lives within the same melancholy space as O'Keefe's does, alongside others by the likes of Jimmy Webb, John Hartford and Kris Kristofferson. Springsteen has talked about being inspired by these songwriters who captured the pensive mood of the early 1970s, especially around and above L.A.'s Sunset Strip, where the counterculture and the pop biz had collided in ways that were deeply fruitful, producing songs that were both easy to listen to and emotionally complex. There's also a Nashvillian cool to producer Ron Aniello's arrangement that bodes well for fans who recognize, in Springsteen's mature voice, a kinship with great country philosophers like Nelson and Charlie Rich.

The song titles Springsteen has shared from Western Stars suggest that the album will travel the heart-worn highway from Music City to Laurel Canyon: "Somewhere North of Nashville," "Tucson Train," "Moonlight Motel." This song makes it clear that along with some possible high desert cowboy songs – there's a horse on the album cover, after all – Springsteen will provide listeners with plenty of explorations of life behind closed doors during uncertain times. It's interesting, though not unprecedented, for the Boss to be exploring the adult-contemporary sonic palette and worldview that his own mid-1970s albums, raucous and raggedy, rebelled against. Calling this a solo album, though he made it with many collaborators including his longtime producer Ron Aniello, original E Street Band keyboard player David Sancious, and the multi-instrumentalist and genius song-shaper Jon Brion, Springsteen is drawing connections between this new music and earlier inner journeys like Tunnel of Love and Working on a Dream. It's hard to know if "Hello Sunshine" reflects the dominant mood of Western Stars or will prove to be an outlier, but its contemplative tone seems like a natural extension of Springsteen's memoiristic Broadway show – and a good place for a man who's expert in confronting the blues to dwell.

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24 minutes ago, Dr. Zoom said:

On another thread, as a comment to "someone" saying that Bruce's singing was lazy, I said that it was good lazy. And I think that's what makes the song appealing to me, the "good" laziness and the hint of resignation that's there. Like the resignation of the acoustic live Youngstown but without the anger and nerve bubbling beneath the surface. HS is the sound of a more laid back Bruce, but not a content Bruce. There's nothing of that Springsteen-y nerve and passion, that could go very wrong (see American Beauty as orime example of passion and energy gone wrong). It's very appropriate for his age. 

I feel like he’s singing in his natural voice now.

Things are much better for that.

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That’s an incisive review. Thanks for sharing @sonicramone

I made a point of not listening multiple times in a row today, choosing to spread a dozen or so plays  across the  course of my day. I also made sure I listened on as many different sets of speakers as I could (headphones, iPad, computer, Boom 3, car stereo, AV system), as background music to daily chores and an an intense, concentrated listening exercise.

Then the video dropped and I listened one more time and let the imagery wash over me as the words appeared and faded along with the instruments and Bruce’s voice. It’s probably the way I’ve actually listened to Bruce’s new records for as long as I’ve been listening, just condensed into one day rather than over a longer period.

Some comments have suggested the singing is lazy but I wouldn’t be surprised to find out later that this vocal been cherry picked from countless takes in the studio- I think it’s a brilliant performance, deceptively simple, with a sonic clarity that so many of the “muddy” mixes we’ve heard in the past have denied us. When you get in really close to this one it sounds immediate and alive: at least it does to me.

I really look forward to the production on the album. I think it is going to sound amazing. Strings mightn’t be everyone’s cup of tea, the genre might rankle some and there will be cravings for another BTR or Darkness (hell, me too on that!) but this brief taste of Western Stars has me excited that we are about to get another classic album. 

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2 minutes ago, Me and Frank said:

I think it’s a brilliant performance, deceptively simple, with a sonic clarity that so many of the “muddy” mixes we’ve heard in the past have denied us. When you get in really close to this one it sounds immediate and alive

Well said... 

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