Hello Sunshine

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:

Good things:

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”
David Sancious
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”


Bad things:

Ron Aniello
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

11 thoughts on “Hello Sunshine

  1. Love the line in the new single – miles to go is miles away hello sunshine won’t you stay! Looking forward to hearing rest. Interesting that while all new music sounds like a lot of this was ready to go before Wrecking Ball. Ties they Bind reissue and Broadway engagement intervened.

    • I’d be surprised if there wasn’t something there – but Magic was pure allegorical and anger at Bush without ever naming the beast so there may be some of that. Then again this one has been in the ‘chamber’ for a while so may not have been written before the buffoon took office

  2. You had me at David Sancious. Fuck, yeah! It’s been a long time since I really paid attention to any of Bruce’s new releases. But I’ll look forward to this one, especially in this landscape of shitty indie rock. It just so happens we finally got around to watching ‘Springsteen on Broadway’ on Netflix this past weekend. I’ll save my review for a post but yea, totally dug it. And as to our beloved President, Bruce takes him on late in the show. I cringed a little bit because not all of his fans want to hear his politics. So I was waiting to hear some pushback from some guy wearing a Maggot – I’m sorry, MAGA – hat but none came. Anyway, more on that later.

    • I’ve still not seen the show. I’ve heard a few of the tracks from the ‘soundtrack’ but… I don’t know, something about the decision to take a Broadway residency – especially one so scripted – doesn’t sit right. I’m sure I’ll give it a try though at some point.
      However – yeah; definitely happy to have that one on pre-order already.
      Unless it means I need to re-open my ‘Lyrics’ series

      • I do not know if he truly scripted it by writing every word or just blocked it out in sections (my guess) using words like Freehold, relationship with dad, Big Man, etc. to trigger free-form riffing.

        As to the Broadway thing, yeah I felt exactly the same way. But as a Springsteen fan, I think if you watched it you would be pleasantly surprised.

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