BobbyJames

NEW ALBUM: Western Stars - June 14

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2 hours ago, Thunder Roadie said:

Production on DOTEOT???? what about heart and soul!!! He needs his ears checked!!!!:D

needs his brains read morw like

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3 minutes ago, Buddhabone said:

The Stunt man one is just amazing. The entire thing is deep in my soul after 5 run throughs in 24 hours.

It is a beautiful thing. Lush music that holds me in its claws and has me flying and thinking and crying. I relate as a older version of myself who cannot take the little blue pill due to my heart. I am so happy that this is what it is.

I will say best record since TOL.

Do not own a turn table but just bought a copy on vinyl to look at as an art piece.

I think it's going to grow on me more and more. I'm playing "Hitch Hikin'" again and it's already sounding better than the first few times. 

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1 hour ago, Born To Walk said:

The idea is that mp3 version should hopefully be available before the CD arrives later in the day.

Ah right. True to form, I did miss the point!

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This album is incredible, i am obsessed with the title track, i really feel like these characters come alive, in their own cinematic world.  Bruce has no right making an album this good this late in his career!

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1 minute ago, driveallnight89 said:

This album is incredible, i am obsessed with the title track, i really feel like these characters come alive, in their own cinematic world.  Bruce has no right making an album this good this late in his career!

It’s an absolute stunner.

 

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5 minutes ago, Buddhabone said:

The Stunt man one is just amazing. The entire thing is deep in my soul after 5 run throughs in 24 hours.

It is a beautiful thing. Lush music that holds me in its claws and has me flying and thinking and crying. I relate as a older version of myself who cannot take the little blue pill due to my heart. I am so happy that this is what it is.

I will say best record since TOL.

Do not own a turn table but just bought a copy on vinyl to look at as an art piece.

completly off topic but over in the amusement park is a thread for cover art

i havn't been there in a while but its  a beautiful thread 

not sure if you go there or not 

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ok im.up.for the first listen of the day

heavy fog outside 

 

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Just now, Paolo's Circus Story said:

At the end of the day, I'm happy with that album, and that happiness makes me happy. 

I'm aware that doesn't really make sense. 

yes it does to me

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3 minutes ago, Daisey Jeep said:

ok im.up.for the first listen of the day

heavy fog outside 

 

When were you sleeping?  

:D

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4 hours ago, Bullett said:

For us Magic lovers... "Chasin’ Wild Horses" has a hint of "Your Own Worst Enemy"

On second (or fifth) listen and holy moly it really does! 

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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 1997’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.

Title track ‘Western Stars’ is next. It is simply beautiful and I love it! It’s the first track to use the trick of repeating the opening line as the last line too, in this case ‘I woke up in the morning, just glad my boots are on’. It’s unclear to me whether that means he’s just glad to be alive, or happy cos he’s too tired to make the effort to put them on, probably the former. It has some great descriptive lines too. Our hero (for he feels like a hero to me) is an actor, not a lead as his claim to fame is ‘Once I was shot by John Wayne, yeah it was towards the end (Of Wayne’s career or maybe both of theirs?), That one scene’s bought me a thousand drinks, set me up and I’ll tell it for you, friend’. As the music builds (there are plenty of string and other flourishes here) you feel as though you want to know more too. He’s now doing an ad for viagra it appears but overall it feels as though he is positive it’s the start of a resurgence perhaps. This one may go down as a Bruce classic when we eventually look back at his career output.

Track 5 ‘Sleepy Joe’s Cafe’ is lighter, tex mex in style perhaps, with featured accordion, organ and trumpet too. I don’t think it’ll be the fans’ favourite but my dad said it was his favourite, as I expected, cos he likes the rhythm more than the emphasis on the words. It’s the slightest, most upbeat track on the album, slipping nicely between 2 slower longer tracks. Joe got out of the army with an army loan and opened a small cafe with his new wife May. Business is thriving since the highway came past as the bikers and truckers come to eat, drink and dance. I like it too.

The title of track 6 Drive Fast (The Stuntman) gives away the job of our storyteller. This one was a slow burner for me, took several listens to really like it. Another to repeat the opening line at the end and a good one too, ‘I got two pins in my ankle and a busted collarbone, A steel rod in my leg, but it walks me home. This guy has gone through the mill. It’s open to interpretation (I think) whether or not he’s still with his girl. ‘Drive fast, fall hard, keep me in your heart’ - good stuff. I also love these lines in the opening verse, ‘At nine, I climbed high into the boughs of our neighbourhood’s tallest tree, I don’t remember the fear, just the breeze. For me it’s referring back to the moving story of Bruce’s tree from the Bruce on Broadway production. Lovely.

‘Chasin’ Wild Horses’, track 7 is another of my favourites. It starts with a lone cello (?) and builds and builds. There’s some lovely imagery here, but perhaps this is the story of a guy looking back with regrets, who doesn’t want to think back too hard. Interestingly he pinched a melody from his own ‘Your Own Worst Enemy’ from the ‘Magic’ album but here uses it to better effect, I think. This is one of the best tracks imo.

Sundown is another lovely melody, but not so positive a story. He’s definitely apart from his girl. He’s throwing himself into his work on the county line (Wichita Lineman nod) hoping she’ll come back when summer’s through, but probably realising she won’t be, as he drifts from bar to bar, in lonely town. Has a feel of some Neil Diamond to me too. Very lush sounding track.

The shortest track is track 9 ‘Somewhere North Of Nashville’. At first I felt it was too brief but it’s grown on me. Our subject is a failed songwriter, who may have finally found some success or at least the prospect of some’ by trading his girlfriend for a song. He’s realised though that it was an error as he lies awake in the night lonely somewhere north of Nashville.

Track 10 is Stones. I’m only guessing at the meaning. The melody is lovely but I suspect the writer is unhappy or has had a run of bad luck based on the meaning of dreams where one has Stones in the mouth. Perhaps the disappointment is with his partner who he suspects hides more than the lies she has admitted to, or perhaps she is saying they are only the lies he has told her. It’s a bit murky or open to interpretation for me-not necessarily a bad thing. Repetition really works on this one. Reminds me of Neil Diamond and not just because of the title.

Both the previous track ‘I woke up with stones in my mouth’ and track 11 ‘There Goes My Miracle with the line ‘Sunrise, sundown’ use the repetition of opening and closing lines again. A technique that makes me feel the stories or vignettes have come full circle or are complete. This one has come in for some criticism from fans, perhaps too repetitive or too produced. Somehow it doesn’t seem to jar as much as part of the overall album in my opinion anyway. It sounds uplifting but the lyrics appear to give away that his partner is leaving with him having been a fool and disobeyed the book of love rules.

Hello Sunshine was the first track released. It evokes ‘Everybody’s Talkin’ perhaps in melody and the lyrics appear to deal with his depression and anxiety issues as he hopes the positive will stay and outrun the negative side.

Finally ‘Moonlight Motel’ is a place on a two lane deserted highway that has closed down. It feels almost like a lullaby, a really pretty song and melody. The protagonist is reminiscing it seems to me concluding that ‘it’s better to have loved’.

I really like this album a lot. It feels like an American movie. Often with his best writing you can form a mini movie or images in your mind and this has that in spades. It is lush, rich and panoramic too. it reminds me of driving the vast spaces of the US countryside a couple of years ago, especially the Natchez Trace Parkway. I think it’ll work just as well on the A303. Pure escapism! The orchestration really adds to the richness and fullness of the sound and Bruce is in excellent voice throughout. He said in Springsteen in Broadway that what he misses about getting old is that blank piece of paper, the endless possibilities that go with youth. You feel that with these characters. It feels old, weary, lived in, but as I said at the start down but not out. There is always another day, until the end anyway...

Not gonna rank them all but my favourites, at this early stage, are

Western Stars
Chasin’ Wild Horses
The Wayfarer
Stones
Drive Fast (The Stuntman)
Sundown &
Hello Sunshine
The rest are not far behind either..

I think most Bruce fans, certainly most of the ones I know, are gonna love this latest output and with luck a return to the E Street Band lies not too far in the future too....

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6 hours ago, Daisey Jeep said:

ive had one full listen and im.jotting this down at 2.32 in the AM to see if i think different listening in the day light on a bright sunny blue sky day/tomorrow morning
the orchestration is drop dead gorgouse
its so vast and sweeping just like the background to the lyrics, and lush like a desert oasis, fleshed out by those strings And french horns
i grew up with country music and i love the acoustic albums so i feel right at home here
but bugga me i feel depressed after closing with moonlight motel - although its a stand out track to me - i see those dandelions growing in that old pool as vividly as if i were there 
But in contrast to WOAD, which also had beautiful sweeping majestic music,  that album made me not afraid to get older and this new album has me shit scared for what happens to us loners when we get old
i know part of it is because Gary is only a couple  of years shy of Bruce  and he is having a really rough time right now with old man aliaments but Bruce's characters have always been overwhelmingly resilient  in the main with good doses of faith, hope, love and community thrown in for good measure - or is that just ESB albums ?

now im always drawn to the darkness in Bruce's songs and i hear some of my beloved characters in this album- just older
Dry lightening, loose change, Reno, actually alot of D&D and Joad, the big muddy....
this is an album of loners getting old and for the most part alone and lonelly


don't think that loners don't get lonely? sometimes we are happy with our own company and other times far from it


im making a mental note for the sake of mental heath and self preservation to never drink with this album even though it cries out to be listened to alone at night on my front porch with a whisky and a cigarette AND i dont even smoke !


in fact ive had to get up and consume a rather miserable substandard block of inferior imported chocolate just for the sugar rush to wake up my endorphins as opposed to attempting  to cut my wrists in the bathroom with a safety raiser !

now i like sleepy Joe's - its quirky in a way i find  all that heaven will allow to be a high note on its album.                    sleepy joe's is a place id go drinking


but these guys singing the songs on this album, they arnt strung out on a wire- these guys have fallen off the wire and not just yesterday 
this is the guy from the promise, maybe the dudes from Joad with or without the history of crime
this is a lament for lost love and lost time


the music might be big but the people are small and their troubles and lost loves have little consequence to the world


Bruce giving a voice to to life's loners


the lone wolves are old dogs now

washed up but not quite washed out


please make baby from Tuscon train get off at the right stop to be meet by the craine driver

anyway one listen and a few bits and pieces a few more. ill listen and pay attention tomorrow, tonight this is just about how the album feels to me

of course i love it !

and am dragging my sorry arse off to bed for another listen

In case anyone missed this a few pages back. Daisey, you should write at 2am all the time, this is probably as good a review as any we’ll read in the next few days. :)

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This has been said by some to be his best album since Magic, I agree. However; that is like saying The Final Cut was Waters-Led Pink Floyds best album of the 80s. That may be true, but it doesn't mean it's a great record.  Hitch Hikin' is really growing on me after three listens. I'm already singing along and that's a good sign. It knows it's a simple song, and it doesn't pretend to be anything else(see Smokey Joes Cafe, Somewhere North of Nashville.) The Wayfarer: Holy cow is this a song that goes in every conceivable easy listening direction Burt Bacharach had wet dreams about in the late 60s.  I still don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing, or just a thing. Many of the songs seem to tackle aging in one way or another, from  Tuscon Train's aged relationship insights to The Stuntman's ailing body, and at almost 70 frankly it's about time Springsteen wrote about his generation current. With the exception of Sundown, I like the rest of the tracks, though most are only okay. Moonlight Motel though is a killer last track. I love it. It's the best song on the record maybe. Either that or Hello Sunshine.

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It's a fucking masterpiece.

The dark, lonesome lyrics, combined with his ragged, but then sometimes soaring voice. The morose country guitars...with the beautiful strings.

He took a chance here, and it paid off big time.

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I’ve been scrolling on and off through this thread and I’m so excited to see all of the positive reviews of the album streaming in - it sounds like a masterpiece and I can’t wait to listen once my amazon vinyl pre-order download becomes available at midnight (been too busy to find/avoided the leaks!)

Only listened to each of the pre released singles once so can’t wait to listen to the album as a whole, really very excited having liked all three songs on first listen!

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Just heard Sleepy Joe's Café...really like the upbeat Tex Mex feel to it. Reminds me a little of his version of Ramrod from the Seeger Sessions...

 

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So this is the first album cover without Springsteen's name on it! 

 

Interesting

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I'm hoping the amazon UK time download is just 10 mins away - a lot shorter than the delivery of CD tomorrow - fingers crossed.

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15 minutes ago, seadogscarb said:

I'm hoping the amazon UK time download is just 10 mins away - a lot shorter than the delivery of CD tomorrow - fingers crossed.

My download has yet to arrive for my physical copy pre-order, may have to wait until morning..

Either way, happy album release day UK Lakers!

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Just now, BobbyJames said:

My download has yet to arrive for my physical copy pre-order, may have to wait until morning..

Either way, happy album release day UK Lakers!

No luck on the Amazon  stuff, early morning you tube release will be next stop, then Amazon delivery for loud music in our house on eldest son's last day at school ( aged 15 , his request not mine)

Bruce music release on last day of school is better than any GCSE!!

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