Albums to watch

Western Stars

Bruce Springsteen

Western Stars

Nineteenth solo album and first in fourteen years from the veteran singer-songwriter, produced by Ron Aniello

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  1. 10.0 |   The Irish Times

    His most radical and arguably his best album for some time
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  2. 10.0 |   The Independent

    Sumptuous, cinematic album is nothing short of a late-period masterpiece
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  3. 9.1 |   Consequence Of Sound

    The Boss returns with a new sound and plenty more stories to spark our imaginations
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  4. 8.0 |   Clash

    ‘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
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  5. 8.0 |   PopMatters

    Deeply moving, inventive and even a bit risky, Western Stars will take its place among Bruce Springsteen's solo gems
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  6. 8.0 |   Rolling Stone

    A lushly orchestrated set of throwback, country-tinged folk pop that, despite some resemblance to previous works like Nebraska and The Ghost of Tom Joad, sounds like little else in his catalog
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  7. 8.0 |   Q

    It's a parade of wounded wanderers and broken romantics, marooned on dirt roads and in broken-down motels. Print edition only

  8. 8.0 |   The Guardian

    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
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  9. 8.0 |   The Arts Desk

    The musical arrangements hark straight back to a golden age of orchestral pop
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  10. 8.0 |   American Songwriter

    Closing track “Moonlight Motel” represents that metaphorical stopover where youth and romance once flourished. It makes you wish that Springsteen could dash off an album full of such country songs. Until then, Western Stars will have to do, and it does just fine
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  11. 8.0 |   The Music

    He’s the greatest American singer-songwriter alive
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  12. 8.0 |   NME

    The Boss buckles up for his cowboy album, taking us in countless fascinating directions. It's the most charming and enjoyable he’s sounded in quite some time
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  13. 8.0 |   Evening Standard

    The more understated material also hits home on a majestic album that combines lyrical richness with subdued orchestral arrangements

  14. 8.0 |   Under The Radar

    Rest assured, Springsteen sounds confident and comfortable on Western Stars. His 1984 self that hoped to make different kinds of records would be proud, maybe even surprised
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  15. 8.0 |   All Music

    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
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  16. 8.0 |   The Observer

    Springsteen sings brilliantly throughout, gritty on Hitch Hikin’, Orbison-operatic on the more elaborate pieces, and though the high notes can prove elusive, he retains the cadence of a born narrator. Brave and intriguing
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  17. 7.8 |   Pitchfork

    Bruce Springsteen returns with elegiac and wise songwriting conjuring the golden expanse of the American West; it’s his best studio album in years
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  18. 7.8 |   Paste Magazine

    Springsteen’s latest entry in such a storied catalog more than holds its own
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  19. 7.5 |   The 405

    Springsteen delivers a late period gem in Western Stars
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  20. 7.5 |   The Line Of Best Fit

    Western Stars is simply a classy record from a man growing increasingly comfortable with his status as an elder statesman of classic rock. And I absolutely cannot wait to listen to it in a car
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  21. 7.0 |   Exclaim

    The arrangements roll and soar while leaving room for more intimate revelations, which is where Western Stars really finds its stride
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  22. 7.0 |   The Quietus

    It’s a rewarding hour and he's earned the light relief.
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  23. 6.7 |   A.V. Club

    The rough-around-the-edges element of his music has always been a highly calculated aspect of Springsteen’s perfectionist tendencies, but in crafting this record of genteel retro Americana, his smooth sound is missing some bite
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  24. 4.0 |   The FT

    This is familiar ground for Springsteen, although the album brings a degree of reinvention to him too
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