Bruce Springsteen’s Western Stars - What You Need To Know
A new Bruce Springsteen record is always an event, but we haven’t had a new album of original material since 2012's Wrecking Ball and we haven’t had a solo album since 2005's Devils & Dust, so this feels extra special.
Here is everything you need to know about The Boss’s new effort Western Stars...
A little background…
Though it’s been a little while since we had a new album proper from Springsteen, he’s not exactly been idle. He’s undertaken three world tours, grossing over $700 million between them, published his hugely acclaimed autobiography and headlined a Broadway show, appropriately named Springsteen On Broadway.
Originally intended to run for just six weeks, demand for tickets was so high that the show was extended again and again, finally reaching its conclusion in December last year after a staggering 14-month run. A live album was released to celebrate the show, which has also sold handsomely.
Somewhere, at the end of that process, Springsteen began to talk up plans for his new album, an album that arrives in store today (June 14th).
Who’s producing it?
Ron Aniello, who has worked with Springsteen on 2012’s Wrecking Ball and 2014’s High Hopes, is back at the mixing desk for this new record. He co-produces with Springsteen himself.
Any special guests?
Quite a few. Over 20 musicians have helped Springsteen out on this album, including original E Street Band keyboard player David Sancious and violinist Soozie Tyrell and organist Charlie Giordano.
Also featured is Jon Brion, whose credits include Kanye West and Fiona Apple. Springsteen’s wife and E Street bandmate Patti Scialfa has also helped out, providing a series of vocal arrangements.
As well as this, Aniello’s playing is all over the album, he provides bass, keyboards and more besides.
What does it sound like?
Western Stars finds Springsteen in a reflective mood and a long way away from the bombastic colour of High Hopes. Springsteen has talked up his love of Burt Bacharach and the pop music that came out of California in the late 1960s and early 1970s and it’s all over this album.
This is elegant, reflective Americana. It’s delicate, windswept pop, buffeted by Springsteen’s biting lyrics.
Does it deliver?
This isn’t a record for the casual Springsteen fan. There are no romping anthems or stadium fillers, but it’s a delightful record, one that will demand repeated listens and yield more and more every time. Devotees, of which there are millions, will adore it.
Bruce Springsteen’s new album Western Stars is out now in hmv stores.