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New Springsteen Album "Western Stars" June 14*

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by FingerPickin'Triumph, Apr 22, 2019.

  1. graveyardboots

    graveyardboots Resident Patient

    Atlanta, GA, USA
    I'll play too.

    The Rising:
    The first E Street album since Born in the USA is a lopsided affair but there are some very good songs on this one, particularly Nothing Man and Paradise. This album also introduced some of his most durable "modern era" concert staples like The Rising, Lonesome Day, My City of Ruins and, like it or not, Waiting on a Sunny Day. Mary's Place sounds a bit too much like a retread - just not nearly as effective. And it's a sonically messy album, which unfortunately set the tone for many of his subsequent releases.

    Devils and Dust:
    Despite most of these songs being reworked outtakes from nearly a decade prior, the album holds together well and, overall, this is a more solid collection of songs than its predecessor. Black Cowboys is as good as anything on The Ghost of Tom Joad and Leah is a personal favorite. Sadly, this is a needlessly compressed mess, which doesn't suit these otherwise understated songs. By the way, has anyone heard Tom Jones' cover of The Hitter?

    Seeger Sessions:
    Here's Springsteen following his muse with arguably his most organic-sounding recording since the glory days. But as an album of covers, I typically tend not to include it when considering his albums proper. Incidentally, this was the only Springsteen tour since the early '90s that I missed and it's not because I didn't want to attend. It's just that the tour did not hit Atlanta, which was the first time the city was skipped since the early '70s.

    This is probably my favorite batch of songs since The Ghost of Tom Joad and it's easily the best of the modern E Street records. Long Walk Home is a particularly bright spot on an album full of them. But, infuriatingly, I'm not sure there's ever been a worse-sounding Springsteen album.

    Working on a Dream:
    Here's Springsteen following his muse again with an album that sounds like an intentional throwback to 60s pop. It's not hard to imagine Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys being an inspiration on tracks like This Life while Queen of the Supermarket almost sounds like an homage to Roy Orbison...if Roy were a cornball and a pervert. My Lucky Day is practically Springsteen parodying himself and the less said about Outlaw Pete, the better. There are a couple of bright spots at the end though with The Last Carnival being one of the most affecting Springsteen tracks of his modern period and The Wrestler being another worthy song penned for a movie soundtrack. Overall though, this is probably my least favorite effort from the reunion era.

    Wrecking Ball:
    This is one I really wanted to like a whole lot more than I ultimately did. I appreciate the sentiment, of course, but the combination of heavy-handed messaging, the head-scratching Celtic inspiration on some of these tracks, along with some instantly dated sonic effects makes for an overall underwhelming release. My favorite track is actually a bonus song included with some editions: Swallowed Up (In the Belly of the Whale). I really wish this album sounded more like that track.

    High Hopes:
    Like Devils and Dust, this is another album largely culled from reworked, sometimes decade-old outtakes. American Skin and The Ghost of Tom Joad are very good songs but I'm not sure these new studio recordings best the previously released versions of these songs. Just Like Fire Would is an inspired cover, as Springsteen fans are not likely to be familiar with The Saints (the same is true of the cover of Suicide's Dream Baby Dream that closes the album). But there's a lot of stuff on this album that doesn't quite gel like the clumsy This Is Your Sword, the overly ambitious Hunter of Invisible Game, or the downright embarrassing Harry's Place. My favorite track on this album, by an extremely wide margin, is The Wall. It's worth owning if only for that one song.
  2. Mfj55

    Mfj55 Forum Resident

    Your assuming a defensive posture which is blatantly obvious. In other words Bruce can’t win. Also, last I checked WOAD and High Hopes received lukewarm reviews at best from the press and fans. Rolling Stone being the exception.
    OptimisticGoat likes this.
  3. INSW

    INSW Forum Resident

    He ain't asking, but I disagree and feel the need to stick up for POB and whoever else you are referring to. I've listened to the early 90s material a thousand times but whenever he says he likes a lot of it I go back and try again to hear it in a different way. It's constructive.

    Unrelated - generally speaking, ball busting is misinterpreted as negativity around here.
  4. Dellarigg

    Dellarigg Forum Resident

    The Rising 4/5
    Devils and Dust 4/5
    Seeger Sessions 3.5/5
    (Live in Dublin 4/5)
    Magic 5/5
    Working On A Dream 3/5
    Wrecking Ball 4/5
    High Hopes 3.5/5
  5. VatiBobo

    VatiBobo A Scotsman in Canada

    I hope everyone is sitting down. Brace yourselves, there's...a...new...picture. Joking aside, I have to say that I think the campaign for this album has been pretty understated so far. No idea why anyone would get so worked up over a few simple, and actually really quite nice, pictures.

    jricc, Tom Campbell, jsb! and 5 others like this.
  6. JoeF.

    JoeF. Forum Resident

    New Jersey, USA
    I don't think you are taking into consideration that there are a lot of Springsteen fans here who sincerely do want to hear a great album and praise it without qualification--not because they feel like they have to because everyone tells them they should.
  7. DavidD

    DavidD Forum Resident

    When I buy a Corvette, I want a Corvette. Is that too much to ask?

    Popular cars that are surprisingly unreliable | DriveTribe
  8. PepiJean

    PepiJean Forum Resident

    The Rising 4/5
    Devils and Dust 3/5
    Seeger Sessions: 2/5
    Magic: 4.5/5
    Working on a Dream: 3/5
    Wrecking Ball: 3.5/5
    High Hopes: 2/5
  9. JoeF.

    JoeF. Forum Resident

    New Jersey, USA
    It looks like they dropped him off in the middle of nowhere.
    OptimisticGoat, daveidmarx and DavidD like this.
  10. DavidD

    DavidD Forum Resident

    Haven't ever hear Dylan coming out telling me how awesome his next release is going to be.

    Those who have followed Springsteen through the years as he was coming up, as the classic albums were being released, I think they interpret things just a little differently. If you got turned onto Springsteen for the first time with BITUSA or subsequently, you might be missing out on the context of the seemingly negative posts -- and not receptive to the lingering hope still held based almost exclusively on his known genius.
    hardknox, Jimmy B., mtruslow and 2 others like this.
  11. pacman68

    pacman68 Forum Resident

    Los Angeles
    The Rising 4/5 - get rid of three songs.
    Devils and Dust 4 /5 - I love this record
    Seeger Sessions: 0/5 - never listen to this.
    Magic: 4.5/5 - By far is best album in a long time.
    Working on a Dream: 3/5 - Some cool songs on here.
    Wrecking Ball: 2/5 - terrible production and songs are mediocre.
    High Hopes: 1/5 - The Wall is only good song here.

    Also BORN IN THE USA is a great album. Pure summer classic. Anyone who doesn't like it is crazy!! Plus the production sounds amazing still. Heart felt songs in a pop format.
    OptimisticGoat, Syscrusher and Mfj55 like this.
  12. JoeF.

    JoeF. Forum Resident

    New Jersey, USA
    Dr. Zoom likes this.
  13. INSW

    INSW Forum Resident

    Greetings 3/5
    WIESS - TOL 5/5

    Human Touch 1.5/5
    Lucky Town 2/5
    The Ghost of Tom Joad 3/5
    The Rising 2/5
    Devils and Dust 4/5
    Seeger Sessions: 1.5/5
    Magic: 3/5
    Working on a Dream: 1.5/5
    Wrecking Ball: 3.5/5
    High Hopes: 2/5
  14. Dr. Zoom

    Dr. Zoom Forum Resident

    Monmouth County NJ
    Two very different creatures. Bruce loves the spotlight and loves to talk. Dylan reacts to the spotlight like a raccoon on a dark road. He approached the Nobel Prize ceremony with all the zeal of a colonoscopy.

    What exactly is a “jewel box” anyway ?
    mtruslow and PacificOceanBlue like this.
  15. JoeF.

    JoeF. Forum Resident

    New Jersey, USA
    I thought the same thing when the album was announced. I mean, the CD might come in a "jewel CASE."
    Dr. Zoom likes this.
  16. adm62

    adm62 Senior Member

    Toronto, Canada
    We shouldn't forget the American Beauty EP or maybe we should?
    BeatleBruceMayer likes this.
  17. J_D__

    J_D__ Forum Resident

    Huntersville, NC
    Me to, every CD since Magic is worth nothing more than being a beer coaster.
    JoeF. likes this.
  18. walrus

    walrus Forum Resident

    Minneapolis, MN
    I liked it. I thought the title track and "Hurry Up Sundown" should've at least made the main High Hopes record instead of some of the slower songs or covers.
    OptimisticGoat likes this.
  19. INSW

    INSW Forum Resident

    This is my Spotify 2014 comp:

    High Hopes
    Just Like Fire Would
    Frankie Fell In Love
    American Skin
    Mary Mary
    American Beauty
    The Ghost of Tom Joad
    Hunter of Invisible Game
    The Wall
    Dream Baby Dream
    walrus likes this.
  20. Dr. Zoom

    Dr. Zoom Forum Resident

    Monmouth County NJ
    An awful lot of scoreboard watching goes on here. Who’s “negative”, who “liked” what post, and so on.

    There’s a lot of people here who know Springsteen’s music very well and have a lot to offer. Somebody yesterday suggested I go back and listen to the christic show, which I didn’t originally care for. I listened to it today. And you know what? It’s pretty darn good. I originally thought he was wrong, but I’m glad he spoke up.

    If certain people, (or even groups of people) think that his career has declined the past few years, what do you care? It’s an opinion. 50% chance it won’t align with your view. Either way, is it really going to reduce or increase your enjoyment of the music?

    Editors note: in Irish families, ball busting is a disguised show of affection.
    (Kissy face)
    Last edited: May 14, 2019
  21. johnny 99

    johnny 99 Down On Main Street

    I'm 60 this year and more than ever I realize that you have to cherish what you love now and really enjoy it while it's still here.
    I'm glad Bruce is still with us, seemingly healthy and offering us new music for our enjoyment.
    I'm inclined to think:[​IMG][​IMG]
    Last edited: May 14, 2019
  22. PacificOceanBlue

    PacificOceanBlue Senior Member

    The Southwest
    Sort of a bridge between Wrecking Ball and High Hopes. Yes, perhaps, best forgotten. ;)
    rs4951 and Dr. Zoom like this.
  23. johnny 99

    johnny 99 Down On Main Street

    A tip from Uncle Neil?
    Neil Young is the one who's produced a lot of dreck over the last few years if you ask me. His last good album was 7 years ago (his last 5 studio albums weren't very good at all)
  24. Dbstay

    Dbstay Senior Member

    Precisely my favorite Bruce album.
    FingerPickin'Triumph likes this.
  25. Dr. Zoom

    Dr. Zoom Forum Resident

    Monmouth County NJ
    Neil has been worse than Bruce the past 10 years. And that’s a fairly low bar.
    Last edited: May 14, 2019
    aroney likes this.

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