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Bruce Springsteen - Western Stars (2019) Published: June 14/19 Released: June 14/19 albumRock13 Tracks • 50 Minutes
TRACKWAVE SCORE
The percentage of professional music reviewers who liked this. Above 75% is gold. ?
91%
    SELECTED LINE: A dreamlike, retro-inflected world. -The Wall Street Journal
    Western Stars is the 19th studio album by Bruce Springsteen, released by Bruce Springsteen on June 14, 2019.
    Preview
    1. Hitch Hikin'3:37
    2. The Wayfarer4:18
    3. Tucson Train3:31
    4. Western Stars4:41
    5. Sleepy Joe's Café3:14
    6. Drive Fast (The Stuntman)4:16
    7. Chasin' Wild Horses5:03
    8. Sundown3:17
    9. Somewhere North of Nashville1:52
    10. Stones4:44
    11. There Goes My Miracle4:05
    12. Hello Sunshine3:56
    13. Moonlight Motel4:16
℗ 2019 Bruce Springsteen
Critic Reviews (77)

Its a real treasure to be treasured.

10 hours ago

Folking.com Folking.com

Of course it’s superb.

100% 10 hours ago

musicOMH.com musicOMH.com

In Western Stars, the old adage about finding meaning through the journey couldn't feel truer.

80% 10 hours ago

No Ripcord No Ripcord

Quintessentially Bruce, packed with lost highways, girls in parking lots, lonely towns and abandoned motels, with a cast of drifters, blue-collar heroes and bruised romantics.

80% 1 day ago

The Observer (UK) The Observer (UK) (TOP)

“Western Stars” is a timeless Springsteen addition, and an album well in character, one that will resonate with longtime fans, and speak to a larger audience.

2 days ago

Entertainment Voice Entertainment Voice

"Western Stars" is an escapist masterpiece of a better time and a brighter world.

2 days ago


The big old man tells of the loss of the country he has always trusted.

2 days ago

ZEIT ONLINE ZEIT ONLINE

The whole album is an elegant consolation.

2 days ago

SPIEGEL ONLINE SPIEGEL ONLINE

Western Stars stands as an elegy to the faded hopes and dreams of the baby boom era.

2 days ago

The List The List

Western Stars is a very solid late-career album.

2 days ago

BrooklynVegan BrooklynVegan

'Western Stars' is a good album then with more than the feeling of a great album lying dormant beneath too many production layers.

70% 2 days ago

GIGWISE (UK) GIGWISE (UK)

Some albums are old friends from the off, and Western Stars already feels likes it was always part of the inner circle. One listen, smitten.

100% 2 days ago

RTE RTE

A collection of songs that are sweet, sad, and searching, songs that feel finely etched on their own terms but gather a deep, lasting resonance when collected on this enchanting album.

80% 2 days ago

AllMusic AllMusic

A musical and lyrical tour-de-force, "Western Stars" offers one of Springsteen’s most coherent and carefully plotted LPs.

2 days ago


Western Stars leaves behind many of the strengths of Springsteen's previous albums at the front door.

50% 2 days ago

Dansende Beren Dansende Beren

The country that Springsteen pines for here would more likely to be found on a Broadway stage than in an arena.

2 days ago

nodepression nodepression

His best album in a long time.

85% 2 days ago

Maximum Volume Music Maximum Volume Music

He remains rock’s greatest storyteller.

2 days ago

STACK STACK

'Western Stars' makes for a bold and emphatic return that sees the singer and songwriter deliver a truly memorable release, which is no easy feat for a musician that has been going as long as he has.

70% 2 days ago

MYSTIC SONS MYSTIC SONS

It is Springsteen at his finest: truthful and telling stories like only he can.

80% 2 days ago

CrypticRock.com CrypticRock.com

Western Stars is for the lucky ones, of the ones for whom the romance of the West has not yet dried up.

2 days ago

Saving Country Music Saving Country Music

His 1984 self that hoped to make different kinds of records would be proud, maybe even surprised.

80% 3 days ago

Under The Radar Under The Radar

Bruce Springsteen returns with elegiac and wise songwriting conjuring the golden expanse of the American West; it’s his best studio album in years.

78% 3 days ago


Elegant writing and tasteful production make Western Stars the best Springsteen album since Wrecking Ball at the least, maybe even the best since the artist’s middle-aughts resurgence.

3 days ago

Vulture Vulture

The large-scale orchestrations rarely complement the mood.

50% 3 days ago

Chicago Tribune Chicago Tribune (TOP)

A majestic album that combines lyrical richness with subdued orchestral arrangements.

80% 3 days ago

Evening Standard Evening Standard

The majority of the songs ruin their aura with too thick applied make-up.

40% 3 days ago

lautde lautde

It claims its place on the shelf as the essential next chapter in the real Springsteen autobiography.

3 days ago

Hot Press Hot Press

It’s a rewarding hour and he's earned the light relief.

3 days ago

The Quietus The Quietus

When Springsteen cuts into his characters’ pain is when Western Stars stands out as one of his best late-period works.

75% 3 days ago

The 405 The 405

His best work in a decade.

3 days ago


It’s a side of Springsteen we haven’t seen in decades, and it’s quite a ride.

3 days ago

San Francisco Chronicle San Francisco Chronicle

While it’s an evocative mood piece, “Western Stars” won’t go down as an essential part of Springsteen’s catalog.

3 days ago


Western Stars is another incredible chapter in the career of Springsteen and further proof he’s the greatest American singer-songwriter alive.

80% 3 days ago

theMusic.com.au theMusic.com.au

Springsteen carries on his life’s work of capturing the romance and nostalgia of the American experience, albeit to a lusher backing.

80% 3 days ago

The Times of London The Times of London (TOP)

Bruce Springsteen is traveling both textually and musically on "Western Stars".

3 days ago

Dagbladet (NO) Dagbladet (NO)

His best work of the past 25 years.

3 days ago

The Afterword The Afterword

Western Stars sounds like no other album in Springsteen’s catalogue. That alone is reason enough to take it out for a spin. It’s worth the trip.

3 days ago

Toronto Sun Toronto Sun

Western Stars is simply a classy record from a man growing increasingly comfortable with his status as an elder statesman of classic rock.

75% 3 days ago

The Line of Best Fit The Line of Best Fit

The singer dials down his boisterous rock ’n’ roll attack in pretty, midtempo songs lush with the type of string-and-horn arrangements that once kept session players busy in recording studios up and down Sunset Boulevard.

3 days ago

Los Angeles Times Los Angeles Times (TOP)

Bruce Springsteen takes his car to the old town road.

3 days ago


'Western Stars' reaffirms Bruce Springsteen as America's greatest storyteller.

3 days ago


Honoring a musical legacy he loves, Springsteen finds new life in familiar stories.

3 days ago


‘Western Stars’ stays with you long after its final note fades.

100% 4 days ago

americanaUK americanaUK

The arrangements roll and soar while leaving room for more intimate revelations, which is where Western Stars really finds its stride.

4 days ago

Exclaim Exclaim

There is a very bittersweet tang to Springsteen’s latest road trip.

100% 4 days ago

The Telegraph (UK) The Telegraph (UK) (TOP)

This album balances gravitas and grace, burden and beauty, as well as any in Springsteen’s canon.

4 days ago


“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.

4 days ago

The New York Times The New York Times (TOP)

Western Stars rivals 2007’s Magic — another “just songs” record — as Springsteen’s best LP of the 21st century.

4 days ago

UPROXX UPROXX

He’s written a concept album about isolationists in the modern American West, then arranged it so that all those strings and horns make you half-expect the Magnificent Seven to swoop in to rescue his forlorn loners.

4 days ago


Despite the lower volume, Bruce Springsteen sounds positively invigorated on Western Stars.

91% 5 days ago

Consequence of Sound Consequence of Sound

Springsteen abandons anthemic rock to make a marvellous job of Nashville-style pathos.

80% 5 days ago

Metro Newspaper UK Metro Newspaper UK

There are some stunningly gorgeous moments on this record.

5 days ago

Americana Highways Americana Highways

This is solo Springsteen in folksy form with lush orchestral string arrangements.

5 days ago

Folk Radio Folk Radio

The album is like a sunset over the desert, traversing the road that connects the dots of his life.

5 days ago

RIFF Magazine RIFF Magazine

Majestic in its scale, but traditional in its subject matter and narratives, ‘Western Stars’ is a wonderful thing.

80% 5 days ago

New Musical Express (NME) New Musical Express (NME) (TOP)

It’s a delight to hear the man summon the musical spirits of his past, but it’s all a bit overly tasteful and mannered to have the force as his usual work.

67% 5 days ago


‘Western Stars’ is an understated triumph, righting the wrongs of his last few releases and more than emphasises the fact that Springsteen is still brilliant enough to be invested in.

80% 5 days ago

Clash Music Clash Music

Nothing short of a late-period masterpiece.

100% 5 days ago

The Independent (UK) The Independent (UK) (TOP)

Unfortunately it does not lead to a satisfying destination.

40% 5 days ago

Financial Times Financial Times (TOP)

Transforming the enormous into the intimate.

91% 5 days ago

Entertainment Weekly Entertainment Weekly (TOP)

Western Stars has the patience to dwell on painful questions without surging toward premature answers, with musical settings that help listeners linger there too.

5 days ago


Springsteen’s latest entry in such a storied catalog more than holds its own.

78% 5 days ago

Paste Magazine Paste Magazine

It's a lush, gorgeous record that sounds unlike anything Springsteen has recorded in the past.

5 days ago

UltimateClassicRock UltimateClassicRock

His storytelling skills are as strong as ever, just presented in a different way.

6 days ago

The Associated Press The Associated Press (TOP)

A gorgeous, melancholy tribute to aging, broken men, who are down, but not defeated.

100% 6 days ago

Newsday Newsday

As a statement of continued relevance by an artist who’s decades in the game, it’s truly astonishing.

1 week ago

GoldenPlec GoldenPlec

His clever tactic is to set the larger-than-life approach against relatively small stories.

80% 1 week ago

American Songwriter American Songwriter

The musical arrangements hark straight back to a golden age of orchestral pop.

80% 1 week ago

theartsdesk.com theartsdesk.com

His most radical and best album in years.

100% 1 week ago

The Irish Times The Irish Times (TOP)

Once you settle in, the set reveals some of Springsteen’s most beguiling work ever.

80% 1 week ago


If the delivery mechanism is different, the payload is pure Bruce. [Summer 2019, p.106]

80% 1 week ago

Q Magazine Q Magazine

It’s Springsteen’s best collection of new songs to come out since Magic in 2007.

1 week ago

Philly.com Philly.com

Trailed as a break with tradition, the lush orchestrations and swooning vocals of this finely wrought album, in fact, chime beautifully with Springsteen’s history.

80% 1 week ago


An artist who has decided he’s had enough of being himself and wants to try on someone else’s persona for size.

1 week ago

Irish Examiner (IE) Irish Examiner (IE)

Deeply moving, inventive and even a bit risky, Western Stars will take its place among Springsteen's solo gems.

80% 1 week ago

PopMatters PopMatters

A dreamlike, retro-inflected world.

1 week ago

The Wall Street Journal The Wall Street Journal (TOP)
User Reviews (5)

Kbarnett1 month ago
Just the single so far but it’s great After playing the same show for over a year on Broadway, that was great but didn’t have a song less than 18 years old in the set, Bruce comes at us with something entirely new, and yet classic at the same time. The Glen Campbell and Burt Bacharach influences are there, and yet the songwriting is all Springsteen- personal, evocative, lovely. The instrumentation is lush yet subtle, and the production is top notch. Can’t wait for the full album!!

SDJTAZ1 month ago
The Idiots are out in force Only two songs have been released, so it is hard to rate the full album. But I find it interesting that some individuals have chosen to give this a one star review. These "fans" fall into three categories, (1) we don't like his politics so we will trash him. Guess what, these songs have nothing to do with politics. BTW, for these fans, Born in the USA was NOT a patriotic song talking about how great it is to be a American. (2) The fans that feel that Bruce has done nothing good since either BTR, Darkness, The River, or BITUSA. Sorry folks, great artist change and evolve. If you want don't want your music to change, go listen to Bat out of Hell 2 by Meatloaf. (3) It's too country or it's not country enough. From the two songs that I've heard, this is a pop album with nods towards Jimmy Webb, Glen Campbell, and other pop artist like Nilsson (Hello Sunshine definitely had a Everybody's Talking vibe). Does is sound like the Big Hat country that comes out of Nashville? No, but having grown up on Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, and the likes, I don't find much coming out of Nashville to be Country. That said, the first two songs are solid pop songs, which is what they were intended to be. As such, I am looking forward to hearing the rest of the album when it is released.

Sudsman441 month ago
Instant Classic. Glen Campbell, Waylon, Willie, Dwight are a few of the names that come to mind listening to this. Beautiful song, can’t wait for the album.

BrianD611 month ago
Nice Been a fan since the late 70’s and it’s so nice to hear something new! Hello Sunshine a HOMERUN! Can’t wait for the rest of the album but June now seems so far away... Pre-Order now, the one song tease is worth it! Will bring you back to Tom Joad and Nebraska!

Bose621 month ago
Diversity The thing about great artists is that they can explore other types of music beyond their staple sound. With Bruce, as always it’s not about the style of music but the stories set to music. He is one of the great storytellers of our time.
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