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. 10.0 |   music OMH

    All things considered, Bruce is untouchable at this point – he knows what he likes, and he does what he wants. He just happens to do it better than 99% of writers who’ve ever picked up a pen
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  4. 9.1 |   Consequence Of Sound

    The Boss returns with a new sound and plenty more stories to spark our imaginations
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  5. 9.0 |   God Is In The TV

    Western Stars is simply a staggering record. One that few of us could have anticipated Springsteen was capable of, this late in his career
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  6. 8.0 |   Record Collector

    Western Stars feels like either the epilogue to a magnificent era or the discreet prologue to a more modest one
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  7. 8.0 |   No Ripcord

    He's often direct and political, but this time, his subjects are roving and circuitous — uncertain about their predicted fate
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  8. 8.0 |   Evening Standard

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

  9. 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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  10. 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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  11. 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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  12. 8.0 |   Mojo

    Like John Ford westerns, this romanticised vision of the big country has true grit in its soul. Print edition only

  13. 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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  14. 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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  15. 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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  16. 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

  17. 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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  18. 8.0 |   The Arts Desk

    The musical arrangements hark straight back to a golden age of orchestral pop
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  19. 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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  20. 8.0 |   The Music

    He’s the greatest American singer-songwriter alive
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  21. 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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  22. 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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  23. 7.8 |   Paste Magazine

    Springsteen’s latest entry in such a storied catalog more than holds its own
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  24. 7.5 |   The 405

    Springsteen delivers a late period gem in Western Stars
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  25. 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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  26. 7.5 |   Spectrum Culture

    Western Stars places Springsteen in a series of guises that only sharpen one’s sense of the man behind them all
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  27. 7.0 |   The Quietus

    It’s a rewarding hour and he's earned the light relief.
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  28. 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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  29. 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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  30. 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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