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Tucson Train sounds better with each listen!

Western Stars, the title track is the first song I am playing twice.

I just had to hear the line "Coyote with someone's Chihuahua in it's teeth, skitters past my verandah in the night."

The vocal sounds very different on this song, compared to the other new ones I've heard so far. The tone isn't as sharp. I'm going to guess this was the last song recorded, possibly much later than 2011-2012.

Last edited by CrookedCrutch

Absolutely beautiful steel guitar into piano segue to begin Sundown!

I find this one to be the most Bruce sounding so far, until the bridge, which is sung in a high register. Now we're into Glen Campbell - Jimmy Webb territory.  And it's beautiful territory.

Another play twice song for me.

Somewhere North of Nashville very cinematic as well. Sounds like Bruce sitting right next to you, telling a story.

Nine songs into this disc, I'm going "Yeah, this is a great fuckin' album!"

 

 

 

CrookedCrutch posted:

There Goes My Miracle and Hello Sunshine, which most of us have heard, fit in thematically and sonically, after hearing the first 10 songs.

Hunter Of Invisible Game would have fit nicely between the two. Or as the final song.

Moonlight Motel is a campfire dirge, in all the good ways.

Totally agree, Hunter of invisible game would fit much better in this record then in High Hopes.

NunoPorto posted:
CrookedCrutch posted:

There Goes My Miracle and Hello Sunshine, which most of us have heard, fit in thematically and sonically, after hearing the first 10 songs.

Hunter Of Invisible Game would have fit nicely between the two. Or as the final song.

Moonlight Motel is a campfire dirge, in all the good ways.

Totally agree, Hunter of invisible game would fit much better in this record then in High Hopes.

I'll never for the life of me understand the reasoning for releasing High Hopes the way they did. The format was just plain strange.  It should either have been 1) - release those songs as part of a bigger Tracks 2 box set, or 2) - put the songs out on a series of four or five track EPs like they did with American Beauty.  Furthermore, by portraying the album as a grab bag of leftover tracks like they did in announcing its release, it gave everyone the impression that "here's a bunch of songs that weren't good enough for the discs they were recorded for."

So everyone was down on it before they even heard it. They fucked up.

Most of the songs are very good. The Morello stuff could have been one really cool EP.

CrookedCrutch posted:
NunoPorto posted:
CrookedCrutch posted:

There Goes My Miracle and Hello Sunshine, which most of us have heard, fit in thematically and sonically, after hearing the first 10 songs.

Hunter Of Invisible Game would have fit nicely between the two. Or as the final song.

Moonlight Motel is a campfire dirge, in all the good ways.

Totally agree, Hunter of invisible game would fit much better in this record then in High Hopes.

I'll never for the life of me understand the reasoning for releasing High Hopes the way they did. The format was just plain strange.  It should either have been 1) - release those songs as part of a bigger Tracks 2 box set, or 2) - put the songs out on a series of four or five track EPs like they did with American Beauty.  Furthermore, by portraying the album as a grab bag of leftover tracks like they did in announcing its release, it gave everyone the impression that "here's a bunch of songs that weren't good enough for the discs they were recorded for."

So everyone was down on it before they even heard it. They fucked up.

Most of the songs are very good. The Morello stuff could have been one really cool EP.

The only reason i see is that they wanted to tour again and that was the excuse.

Ahhh and they wanted to record a studio version of 41 shots

IMO, a jewel box of a handful of gems, including Chasin', Hello Sunshine, Moonlight, Western, Stones, and perhaps Tucson Train (which just hooks me).  Sundown doesn't impress and feels like a (very poor man's) retread of 'Girls'.  Really love most of the production (which I haven't felt about a BS album in decades) including how he gives the music an opportunity to breath such as in the last 80 seconds or so of Chasin'.  I know the sonic landscape is very different this time, but the engineered sound is more musical and less compressed (?) than most recent albums?  I want to play half of the album over and over and over again while I do not really need to hear some of the others ever again, albeit there is a whole-greater-than-sum-of-the-parts value to the album.  Moonlight, Chasin, and Stones hit me the most.  Grateful and appreciative for new and different music. Enjoy.

Last edited by PupoTexas
PupoTexas posted:

IMO, a jewel box of a handful of gems, including Chasin', Hello Sunshine, Moonlight, Western, Stones, and perhaps Tucson Train (which just hooks me).  Sundown doesn't impress and feels like a (very poor man's) retread of 'Girls'.  Really love most of the production (which I haven't felt about a BS album in decades) including how he gives the music an opportunity to breath such as in the last 80 seconds or so of Chasin'.  I know the sonic landscape is very different this time, but the engineered sound is more musical and less compressed (?) than most recent albums?  I want to play half of the album over and over and over again while I do not really need to hear some of the others ever again, albeit there is a whole-greater-than-sum-of-the-parts value to the album.  Moonlight, Chasin, and Stones hit me the most.  Grateful and appreciative for new and different music. Enjoy.

Those 3 are my favourites two. Are great Springsteen songs that i guess i ll listen in the future like all the others great we know from the past. But i think the 3 pre-releases heard in the record context make sense and are growing on me much more now. (Sorry about my english). Ah i also like Hitch Hikin, sorry (lol)

km posted:

On first listen I didn't like it. But with all the other positive reviews I thought i'd best give it a second listen. 

 

Nah, it's still shit 

Kev, 

i’m intrigued why you think this is shit.

For me as I get older my desire to listen to listen to more crafted, detailed and laidback music increases and WS type albums whether it’s Bruce, Richard Hawley , The Delines do it for me...

Okay, after a day of listening, I feel the album is mixed. The three early releases are all among the 7 songs I like. The others are "Hitch Hikin," "Moonlight Motel," "Wild Horses," and the criminally short "Somewhere North of Nashville." Other than those 7, I find the other songs lack the musicality of the best ones. "The Wayfarer" really sounds like elevator music. "Sleepy Joe's Cafe" and "Drive Fast" sound like out-takes not good enough to make the last disc of Tracks.  Even one I like, "Chasin Wild Horses," sounds a bit like a soundtrack song to a movie more than a Bruce song. I give this a "B" overall, but it is nowhere in the league of Wrecking Ball. I feel like it's half a great album and rough half are songs I might never listen to again in a week. He should have spent another 6 months in the studio.

Last edited by KingOfMilwaukee
CrookedCrutch posted:
NunoPorto posted:
CrookedCrutch posted:

There Goes My Miracle and Hello Sunshine, which most of us have heard, fit in thematically and sonically, after hearing the first 10 songs.

Hunter Of Invisible Game would have fit nicely between the two. Or as the final song.

Moonlight Motel is a campfire dirge, in all the good ways.

Totally agree, Hunter of invisible game would fit much better in this record then in High Hopes.

I'll never for the life of me understand the reasoning for releasing High Hopes the way they did. The format was just plain strange.  It should either have been 1) - release those songs as part of a bigger Tracks 2 box set, or 2) - put the songs out on a series of four or five track EPs like they did with American Beauty.  Furthermore, by portraying the album as a grab bag of leftover tracks like they did in announcing its release, it gave everyone the impression that "here's a bunch of songs that weren't good enough for the discs they were recorded for."

So everyone was down on it before they even heard it. They fucked up.

Most of the songs are very good. The Morello stuff could have been one really cool EP.

Releasing High Hopes....fulfilling his Sony Contract perhaps? He recently said he had writers block for a few years.

He's set the bar high again with Western Stars. I can hear something from all his big past albums in the new record while making it sound new at the same time. So there will be a little bit of pressure on when they go in to record what will possibly be the last E Street record. Which is a good thing.

Last edited by Frank

I think High hopes was just a way to keep touring as he enjoyed the wrecking ball tour so much. Same thing happened in 2008/9 with Working On A Dream - he wanted to keep touring. In his defence the songs on both high hopes and WOAD would have shone in a tracks style format, but are not strong enough as albums to stand against his main work. But he can’t win - after years of complaints that so much work went unreleased, he relaxes his approach to put more out and people complain about the quality. A second album of Born In The USA songs released in 86 to extend the tour another year may have faired the same way. 

Anyway Western Stars is great in my opinion. Not all the songs hit but it’s a personal thing - I’m finding Sundown the weakest but others seem to like it. 

If you dig around in the old comments here you will find that someone (can’t remember who) posted when Magic was released that Last To Die was his best song since Born To Run. Another post following WOAD release said Good Eye was his best song in ages. 

The orchestration is really wonderful, especially on "Chasing Wild Horses" and the title track, which are classics.  The lyric and the swell of the music on "Chasing" kills me.  "Tuscon Train" is a companion piece to "Leah" and "Maria's Bed", both of which I love.  "Moonlight Motel" and "Nashville" are lyrically very evocative of "Reno".  It's like he took Devils and Dust and exploded it into a Western soundtrack.  I never thought I would like that kind of landscape, but the songwriting (besides a few sloppy lyrics) makes it work.  On the whole it's elegiac and melancholy, with moments of hope insisting on shining through.  Can't ask for much more than that. 

This is an amazing album! Aside from a few bad lines - which I'm already becoming accustomed to half a dozen listens in - Bruce has crafted a masterpiece here, a series of movies akin to the vignettes of Reason to Believe. Yet these new stories are filtered through the lens of experience, rather than the sneering cynicism of the 80s. The results, however, are no less tragic. 

Mike_Voss posted:

This is an amazing album! Aside from a few bad lines - which I'm already becoming accustomed to half a dozen listens in - Bruce has crafted a masterpiece here, a series of movies akin to the vignettes of Reason to Believe. Yet these new stories are filtered through the lens of experience, rather than the sneering cynicism of the 80s. The results, however, are no less tragic. 

I like that comparison. Most of the dudes on the disc, this time around, have no reason to believe.

 

After several listens, I find I really really like this album.  It has an amazing Western vibe without the cheesy country and western beer swilling party songs that seem to dominate country music over the last decade.

One of the songs has some horns that had a 70's  Chuck Mangione vibe but even that worked.

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CrookedCrutch posted:

I'll never for the life of me understand the reasoning for releasing High Hopes the way they did. The format was just plain strange.  It should either have been 1) - release those songs as part of a bigger Tracks 2 box set, or 2) - put the songs out on a series of four or five track EPs like they did with American Beauty.  Furthermore, by portraying the album as a grab bag of leftover tracks like they did in announcing its release, it gave everyone the impression that "here's a bunch of songs that weren't good enough for the discs they were recorded for."

So everyone was down on it before they even heard it. They fucked up.

Most of the songs are very good. The Morello stuff could have been one really cool EP.

High Hopes. A mini play, by Kinsey.

Bruce Fans: 'Hey Bruce, when are you gonna get off your lazy ass and release Tracks 2?'

Bruce: 'Here's a bunch of outtakes, unreleased tracks and old songs that I re-recorded. It's basically a CD from Tracks 2, but I decided to call it High Hopes. Hope you like it.'

Bruce Fans: 'You fucked it up Bruce, you asshole'. 

Kinsey posted:
CrookedCrutch posted:

I'll never for the life of me understand the reasoning for releasing High Hopes the way they did. The format was just plain strange.  It should either have been 1) - release those songs as part of a bigger Tracks 2 box set, or 2) - put the songs out on a series of four or five track EPs like they did with American Beauty.  Furthermore, by portraying the album as a grab bag of leftover tracks like they did in announcing its release, it gave everyone the impression that "here's a bunch of songs that weren't good enough for the discs they were recorded for."

So everyone was down on it before they even heard it. They fucked up.

Most of the songs are very good. The Morello stuff could have been one really cool EP.

High Hopes. A mini play, by Kinsey.

Bruce Fans: 'Hey Bruce, when are you gonna get off your lazy ass and release Tracks 2?'

Bruce: 'Here's a bunch of outtakes, unreleased tracks and old songs that I re-recorded. It's basically a CD from Tracks 2, but I decided to call it High Hopes. Hope you like it.'

Bruce Fans: 'You fucked it up Bruce, you asshole'. 

LOL You nailed it. Sounds like me.

I certainly hear and feel the Glen Campbell and Jimmy Webb vibe...

          ........trouble is I have never been a fan of that slick country pop. 

I'll give it another chance next week while sunning myself on a Sicilian beach .......

.....if that doesn't work then it will be filed under 'do not disturb' and I'll go back to listening to Eivør's live album.

Blimey posted:
km posted:

On first listen I didn't like it. But with all the other positive reviews I thought i'd best give it a second listen. 

 

Nah, it's still shit 

Kev, 

i’m intrigued why you think this is shit.

For me as I get older my desire to listen to listen to more crafted, detailed and laidback music increases and WS type albums whether it’s Bruce, Richard Hawley , The Delines do it for me...

Brings new meaning to the ole saying "Its fallen on deaf ears" 

____________________________________

The SPL Rocks!

 

Pulled up to my house today
Came and took my little girl away!
Giants Stadium 8/28/03



Oats

I can’t stop listening to it. 

The songs I don’t like, that I want to skip through, come on and are great. 

Yes. Springsteen songs are built piece by piece and sometimes it takes a few listens to take it all in.

What’s not to like? There is the ever-present great writing and storytelling, the dramatic musical shifts, the underlying Bruce beat, and the undeniable powerful voice.

There is a redeeming quality in every single song. Some of the songs have it all.

This is as grounbreaking an endeavor as Bruce has taken on before and he succeeds all around.

The music is different yes  but in some cases more dramatic and sweeping. As usual, I am hearing new things that I can’t really explain in style or put into words, but like always they can be explained as Bruce. It’s Bruce. Like when I first heard Brilliant Disguise I couldn’t really explain the style, but I knew it was clearly Bruce and it was great.

Western Stars is great, from start to finish.

 

 

So, I finally listened to it start to finish while walking along the beach here on vacation. I wasn’t in a hurry basing the listen on the first two releases.

It’s taken me a couple of days to like it. Anything Bruce does will be a masterpiece with thought, feeling and musical genius, but it isn’t my favorite by a long shot. Stones and moonlight motel were my top two. Without over analyzing the whole thing, I give him credit for the vision, the arrangements and the novelty. 

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