13 Songs, 50 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

It's hard to imagine Bruce Springsteen describing a project of his as a concept album—too much prog baggage, too much expectation of some big, grand, overarching story. But nothing he's done across five decades as one of rock's most accomplished storytellers has had the singular, specific focus and locus, lyrically and musically, as this long-gestating solo effort—a lush meditation on the landscape of the western United States and the people who are drawn there, or got stuck there.

Neither a bare-bones acoustic effort like Nebraska nor a fully tricked-out E Street Band affair, this set of 13 largely subdued character-driven songs (his first new ones since 2014's High Hopes, following five years immersed in memoir) is ornamented with strings and horns and slide guitar and banjo that sound both dusty and Dusty. They trade in the most familiar of American iconography—trains, hitchhikers, motels, sunsets, diners, Hollywood, and, of course, wild horses—but aren't necessarily antiquated; the clichés are jumping-off points, aiming for timelessness as much as nostalgia. The battered stuntman of “Drive Fast” could be licking, and cataloging, his wounds in 1959 or 2019. As convulsive and pivotal as the current moment may feel, restlessness and aimlessness and disenfranchisement are evergreen, and the songs are built to feel that way. In true Springsteen fashion, the personal is elevated to the mythical.

Mastered for iTunes

EDITORS’ NOTES

It's hard to imagine Bruce Springsteen describing a project of his as a concept album—too much prog baggage, too much expectation of some big, grand, overarching story. But nothing he's done across five decades as one of rock's most accomplished storytellers has had the singular, specific focus and locus, lyrically and musically, as this long-gestating solo effort—a lush meditation on the landscape of the western United States and the people who are drawn there, or got stuck there.

Neither a bare-bones acoustic effort like Nebraska nor a fully tricked-out E Street Band affair, this set of 13 largely subdued character-driven songs (his first new ones since 2014's High Hopes, following five years immersed in memoir) is ornamented with strings and horns and slide guitar and banjo that sound both dusty and Dusty. They trade in the most familiar of American iconography—trains, hitchhikers, motels, sunsets, diners, Hollywood, and, of course, wild horses—but aren't necessarily antiquated; the clichés are jumping-off points, aiming for timelessness as much as nostalgia. The battered stuntman of “Drive Fast” could be licking, and cataloging, his wounds in 1959 or 2019. As convulsive and pivotal as the current moment may feel, restlessness and aimlessness and disenfranchisement are evergreen, and the songs are built to feel that way. In true Springsteen fashion, the personal is elevated to the mythical.

Mastered for iTunes
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Ratings and Reviews

3.7 out of 5
329 Ratings

329 Ratings

SDJTAZ ,

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.

Kbarnett ,

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!!

Sudsman44 ,

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.

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