Five days old but did you guys see the review by the long-time NYT critic Jon Pareles: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/0...rn-stars-review.html
"Amid Bruce Springsteen’s huge songwriting catalog, “Western Stars” is a side trip in place and time: a homage to a bygone pop era and a return to one of his recurring fascinations — the present-day American West as envisioned and, in the early 1990s, inhabited by a native New Jerseyan. It’s not an album courting new young fans or claiming any 2019 zeitgeist. It’s more like a speculative alternate history: What if Springsteen’s music had taken a very different direction at the start?
“Western Stars” arrives following the explicit autobiography and starkly staged sincerity of “Springsteen on Broadway,” even though it was in the works before those performances. Instead of trying to extend that revealing tour de force, the new album veers elsewhere; it’s an experiment in genre and narratives. Most (and perhaps all) of the songs are other people’s stories, not Springsteen’s own. In them, the West — California along with Arizona and Montana — can be a promise of open spaces and second chances. But more often, the western horizon is the end of the line, where Springsteen’s characters find themselves alone with their regrets."