Well, it happened. I thought it wasn’t going to, certainly not so soon after his ‘Vegas residency’ period but I woke this morning to the news that Bruce Springsteen’s new album Western Stars will drop in June.
Given that I was reading the news while dropping the kids off at the pool* it meant I’d pre-ordered before I stood up.
Recorded predominantly at his home studio in New Jersey, this – the first album of new material in five years (seven if you don’t count those heated up left overs of High Hopes), Western Stars, to cite Springsteen’s website: takes his music to a new place, drawing inspiration in part from the Southern California pop records of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s.
“This record is a return to my solo recordings featuring character driven songs and sweeping, cinematic orchestral arrangements,” says Springsteen. “It’s a jewel box of a record.”
Cover art (the first not to feature Bruce’s mug on it since The Ghost of Tom Joad) and track listing have dropped and the first ‘single’ has also been released (not that these things really exist anymore, do they?) too:
It’s a return to story-telling Bruce
Album themes encompass a “sweeping range of American themes, of highways and desert spaces, of isolation and community and the permanence of home and hope”
No Tom Morello
It’s been a long time coming – this could go either way: Human Touch was laboured but rushed-releases could use better quality control
The song title ‘Chasin’ Wild Horses’ seems promising on its own to me
“Sweeping, cinematic orchestral arrangements”
No E Street Band
So… Am I excited? Fuck yeah, I’ve just finished another Bruce series that’s reminded me that there’s always a reason to tune in, even if there are warning signs production-wise.
*curious to see if that reference is known across the various blog-oceans