TAS Super LP List! Special Merit: InformalDouble LP Features Single "Hello Sunshine"!
The Boss returns with his first new studio album in five years. Western Stars is released on Columbia Records and is largely influenced by the Southern California pop sounds of the late '60s and early '70s.
"This record is a return to my solo recordings," Springsteen says in a statement, "featuring character-driven songs and sweeping, cinematic orchestral arrangements. It's a jewel box of a record."
Springsteen reunited with producer Ron Aniello for Western Stars. The two previously worked together on Springsteen's last two studio albums, 2014's High Hopes and 2012's Wrecking Ball. The Western Stars album also features guest appearances by more than 20 other players, including multi-instrumentalist and composer Jon Brion, violinist and singer Soozie Tyrell and former E Street Band member David Sancious.
The first single from the Western Stars album is "Hello Sunshine".
"...a lushly orchestrated set of throwback, country-tinged folk pop that, despite some resemblance to previous works like Nebraska and The Ghost of Tom Joad, sounds like little else in his catalog. Frankly, its sheen is off-putting at first. But once you settle in, the set reveals some of Springsteen's most beguiling work ever. The sonic approach is in full bloom on 'Hello Sunshine,' the first single. Draped in strings and pedal steel moan, it evokes existential late-Sixties/early-Seventies radio balladry like Glen Campbell's version of Jimmy Webb's 'Wichita Lineman' and Harry Nilsson's cover of Fred Neil's 'Everybody's Talkin'. The sound dates back to Springsteen's youth, and he channels it masterfully, with some of his most polished singing...Western Stars shows Springsteen pulling back the curtain on his craft in much the same way Springsteen on Broadway did. In fact, in its elliptical narratives, it might have the makings of a good musical itself." - Rolling Stone
"Never one to shy away from the classics, The Boss tries his hand at Glen Campbell's style and Roy Orbison's vibes to maximum effect. This is some country-western stuff, alright, and that might not sit well with the fans hoping to hear his construction worker anthems of yesteryear. Lose the hard hats for a second, though, and enjoy the solace. Like Nebraska, Springsteen offers up so much space for meditation, only very little room for brooding. No, this is Nebraska with headlights, where you get to see where you're going and yet also get to kick your legs up for a second or two. Giddy up." - Consequence of Sound, Top 25 Albums of 2019 (So Far), June 2019
"Bruce Springsteen's Western Stars takes us beyond the boardwalk and the dust bowl heading to the sonic space where Nashville and Southern California met in the 1960s and '70s. The cinematic feel of the album has a starring role, too, with a lush soundtrack of strings, horns and pedal steel." - NPR, Best Albums Of 2019 (So Far)
• Double LP
• Gatefold jacket
• Limited time digital download
1. Hitch Hikin'
2. The Wayfarer
3. Tucson Train
1. Western Stars
2. Sleepy Joe's Cafe
3. Drive Fast (The Stuntman)
1. Chasin' Wild Horses
3. Somewhere North Of Nashville
1. There Goes My Miracle
2. Hello Sunshine
3. Moonlight Motel