Page 1 of 2

Bruce Springsteen "Western Stars"

Posted: 24 Jun 2019, 09:33
by Diamond Dog
I played this twice in a row on the way to the coast this weekend, and twice on the way back. I must have stopped and played "Sundown" at least a dozen times within that, and probably six times for "There Goes My Miracle". I've played it at least twice a day since I got on the day of its release (a couple of weeks back).
It's a beautifully panoramic recital of travel and relationships- melancholy, wistful, reflective, regretful and yet wonderfully optimistic and hopeful as well.
Bruce has channeled his Jimmy Webb, Burt Bacharach and Phil Spector and given us an album we really have no right to expect from a near 70 year old..... you glorious old bugger, please keep doing what you do.

Image

Re: Bruce Springsteen "Western Stars"

Posted: 24 Jun 2019, 14:33
by slightbreeze
Oops.....seriously average in my opinion. It's OK to say it's paying homage to Glen Campbell/ 60's lush orchestral like pop, but Bruce has neither the melodic nor musical sensibilities of a Jim Webb or Burt Bacharach. Take away the strings and you have bog standard Springsteen.

Re: Bruce Springsteen "Western Stars"

Posted: 24 Jun 2019, 20:53
by Positive Passion
slightbreeze wrote: bog standard Springsteen.


So it is great then

Re: Bruce Springsteen "Western Stars"

Posted: 24 Jun 2019, 20:57
by Walk In My Shadow
slightbreeze wrote: Take away the strings and you have bog standard Springsteen.



Exactly what I'm afraid of and also the reason I haven't bought it yet. May pick it up in FOPP for a fiver later on.

It's the same with his solo solo LP's where he's trying to be early Dylan. He'll never be Dylan.

It would really be better if he went back to his Born to Run/The River era.

Re: Bruce Springsteen "Western Stars"

Posted: 24 Jun 2019, 21:02
by Diamond Dog
slightbreeze wrote:Oops.....seriously average in my opinion. It's OK to say it's paying homage to Glen Campbell/ 60's lush orchestral like pop, but Bruce has neither the melodic nor musical sensibilities of a Jim Webb or Burt Bacharach. Take away the strings and you have bog standard Springsteen.



That's not like you to diss a post of mine.

:lol: :lol:

Re: Bruce Springsteen "Western Stars"

Posted: 24 Jun 2019, 21:03
by Diamond Dog
Walk In My Shadow wrote:
slightbreeze wrote: Take away the strings and you have bog standard Springsteen.



Exactly what I'm afraid of and also the reason I haven't bought it yet. May pick it up in FOPP for a fiver later on.

It's the same with his solo solo LP's where he's trying to be early Dylan. He'll never be Dylan.

It would really be better if he went back to his Born to Run/The River era.


That's not like you to diss a post of mine.

:lol: :lol:

Re: Bruce Springsteen "Western Stars"

Posted: 24 Jun 2019, 21:16
by Walk In My Shadow
It's not on purpose, Pete. Really not.


But, for me, his later albums became so un-Springsteen it was like he became a run of the mill rock band.

Remember with had a little Litlle Steven discussion. Of course, He's no Bruce and his LP's are so-so.

But that debut album of his 'Men without Women' that's a 5 star.

Saw Springsteen live twice. In Rotterdam on the height of his popularity(5+ gig) and years later in Ghent and he was simply rushing to the end. That may well be one of the shortest show he's ever done.
Saw Little Steven once in Antwerp (during that afmorementioned LP tour) and that also was 5 star.

Re: Bruce Springsteen "Western Stars"

Posted: 24 Jun 2019, 21:25
by Diamond Dog
I'm quite happy to agree that his studio output since "The Rising" has been extremely underwhelming. But I really do think he's hit the heights with this album - and to say the strings are the only thing elevating it above mediocrity is disingenuous and absolutely untrue too. The tracks where strings play no or little part still work really well. More to the point - is using strings 'cheating' somehow and, if so, how exactly?

As for live shows - I saw him at Coventry 3 years ago. Really wasn't expecting much - outdoor arena, middle of summer, Sunday evening.

He played just over three hours without a break and had the place rocking like a small club. I'm sorry your shows didn't live up to the hype, but that show was utterly fantastic.

All artists have down times but I'd guess Bruce can put his body of live work up against anyone over the past 45 years and sit pretty. I certainly can't think of an artist close - maybe Neil Young for awhile, and other bands in short spurts, but not that kind of longevity.

Re: Bruce Springsteen "Western Stars"

Posted: 24 Jun 2019, 21:31
by Walk In My Shadow
Walk In My Shadow wrote:Saw Springsteen live twice. In Rotterdam on the height of his popularity(5+ gig)



Misread? That Rotterdam show was superior.

Re: Bruce Springsteen "Western Stars"

Posted: 24 Jun 2019, 21:37
by Diamond Dog
Walk In My Shadow wrote:
Walk In My Shadow wrote:Saw Springsteen live twice. In Rotterdam on the height of his popularity(5+ gig)



Misread? That Rotterdam show was superior.


Not at all. I was referring to the more recent Ghent gig where you said he 'was simply rushing to the end'.

Re: Bruce Springsteen "Western Stars"

Posted: 26 Jun 2019, 19:31
by The Slider
Walk In My Shadow wrote:his Born to Run/The River era.


His chalk era and his cheese one?

Re: Bruce Springsteen "Western Stars"

Posted: 29 Jun 2019, 08:16
by never/ever
I thought Western Stars had certain parallels with Tunnel Of Love in the way the songs were designed. Emotionally this one doesn't grab me immediately like some of the other albums did but it;s a charming album filled with good vibes and a familiar sense of wellbeing- in that way it surpasses most of his latter day output for me.

Re: Bruce Springsteen "Western Stars"

Posted: 05 Aug 2019, 17:10
by soundchaser
One of my favourite Bruce albums: I can’t stop playing it. I really like that there’s a story going on, with some songs being flashbacks...to my mind, anyway. There’s not one song on Western Stars that I don’t absolutely love, but Christ, isn’t Moonlight Motel absolutely chilling in its finality? Easily his best album since Tunnel Of Love, so an unexpected and very welcome masterpiece.

Re: Bruce Springsteen "Western Stars"

Posted: 11 Aug 2019, 16:25
by The Slider
soundchaser wrote:Easily his best album since Tunnel Of Love.


The very faintest of Praise.
It is his best album since Born to Run.

Re: Bruce Springsteen "Western Stars"

Posted: 11 Aug 2019, 17:36
by soundchaser
The Slider wrote:
soundchaser wrote:Easily his best album since Tunnel Of Love.


The very faintest of Praise.
It is his best album since Born to Run.


I don’t think it is faint praise, as I love Tunnel Of Love and think it’s a great Bruce album.

Best since Born To Run? Certainly better than The River, but Darkness On The Edge Of Town is as great.

But yes, Western Stars is Top 5 Bruce, along with The Wild, Born To Run, Darkness,and,for me, Born In The USA.

Re: Bruce Springsteen "Western Stars"

Posted: 11 Aug 2019, 18:42
by The Slider
While I'd question one of the five, you are right on the other four
;)

There is an innate beauty in the songs on Western Stars that has not been a feature of anything he has made since 1973, though I do understand that beauty is not something many people look for in Bruce's music.

Re: Bruce Springsteen "Western Stars"

Posted: 11 Aug 2019, 21:16
by Diamond Dog
Played it to Lin yesterday in the car - I didn't tell who the artist was. It took her about four tracks to get it but, when she did, she just said "I never knew he could sing like this!". I had to smile because she's by no means a fan....but she got the album completely. She said "This is great driving music isn't it?"... and it truly is.

It's magnificent. I always said Bruce had a great album left in him and this is the one. Nearly two months on and I'm loving it more and more. It's a deeply beautiful collection.

Re: Bruce Springsteen "Western Stars"

Posted: 11 Aug 2019, 23:02
by soundchaser
Tucson Train: a really lovely, optimistic song. Full of love, longing and hope. “Here she comes.”

But if this album is a story, I wondered how we got from here to the final line of Moonlight Motel?

Which led me to think: was she even on the train? Had she changed her mind? That would be pretty devastating.

Re: Bruce Springsteen "Western Stars"

Posted: 14 Aug 2019, 15:09
by soundchaser
From Moonlight Motel:

"Chain-link fence half-rusted away
Got a sign says "Children be careful how you play"

I think Bruce's character was looking at this sign with deep regret for his past indiscretions.

Right up until the moment he shot himself.

Chilling, really.

Re: Bruce Springsteen "Western Stars"

Posted: 12 Oct 2019, 15:54
by Diamond Dog
Playing it again in a quietly reflective mood.... by christ, it is utterly magnificent.