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Posted (edited)

Bruce Springsteen has a new single — Hello Sunshine.

As part of a new album, Western Stars (release date June 14), it might be his best song yet !

According to one source,“This marks Springsteen first studio album since 2014 and his first of completely original material since 2012.”

 

Edited by Buddy

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Thank you for posting, Buddy. I had read that he had some new material. He's sounding very mellow and folky on this one and the voice sounds good for his age.

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Posted (edited)

 

On 5/11/2019 at 10:19 AM, dirac said:

Thank you for posting, Buddy. I had read that he had some new material. He's sounding very mellow and folky on this one and the voice sounds good for his age.

You're welcome, Dirac. Thanks for your comment and thanks for all the work that you do getting the  ballet news to us.

I love the song and listen to it again and again.

Edited by Buddy

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You are also welcome, Buddy. :) The song certainly bodes well for the new album. 

His Broadway show is now available on Netflix but I have not seen it yet.

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On 5/13/2019 at 2:24 PM, dirac said:

The song certainly bodes well for the new album. 

 

And so does this one.   😊

 

 

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Posted (edited)

My son-in-law leaves for Ireland today to visit his parents, which reminds me….

On a plane back from Ireland the fellow next to me said that he was in a pub near Dublin where Bono from U2 was a regular. Two young women came in one day and saw Bono at the bar with a friend. They excitedly went over, asked for his autograph and chatted. Then Bono and his friend politely excused themselves and left. When the young women had calmed down they asked for their check. The bartender said that Bono’s friend had already paid for it. They said that that was very nice of him. “Yes it was," said the bartender. "That was Bruce Springsteen.”

Edited by Buddy
grammar correction

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Oh snap!

Friends of mine were in that same neighborhood recently, and heard stories about Bono and family -- apparently he's a great dad when he's home, and makes really good toast for friends. 

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On 5/31/2019 at 10:15 AM, Buddy said:

My son-in-law leaves for Ireland today to visit his parents, which reminds me….

On a plane back from Ireland the fellow next to me said that he was in a pub near Dublin where Bono from U2 was a regular. Two young women came in one day and saw Bono at the bar with a friend. They excitedly went over, asked for his autograph and chatted. Then Bono and his friend politely excused themselves and left. When the young women had calmed down they asked for their check. The bartender said that Bono’s friend had already paid for it. They said that that was very nice of him. “Yes it was," said the bartender. "That was Bruce Springsteen.”

Cute story, Buddy, thanks, Particularly nice of the Boss when you consider that Bono’s fans apparently failed to recognize the “friend.”

I saw the very good documentary “20 Feet from Stardom” recently and Springsteen impressed me with his perceptive remarks,  as he usually does in interviews -- easily the most thoughtful and articulate of the stars who appeared. He's a serious person.

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9 hours ago, dirac said:

Cute story, Buddy, thanks, Particularly nice of the Boss when you consider that Bono’s fans apparently failed to recognize the “friend.”

I saw the very good documentary “20 Feet from Stardom” recently and Springsteen impressed me with his perceptive remarks,  as he usually does in interviews -- easily the most thoughtful and articulate of the stars who appeared. He's a serious person.

Yes, apparently Bruce Springsteen sat at the bar with a rather amused expression through it all. But it can happen. I sat at a bar next to Keith Richards and Joe Cocker for two hours and had no idea who they were. And I was a big rock fan.

Bruce Springsteen has always been known as a class person and as someone who really cares.

Edited by Buddy
grammar correction

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Posted (edited)

The album was released today.

It’s heartfully, soulfully, lovely, bittersweet with its welcomed highs, most noticeable in the first single, Hello Sunshine.

The Elton John song says, “A beautiful life is while you’re in this world.”

Bruce sings, “The book of love holds its rules, Disobeyed by fools.”

The album ends with,

We fought hard over nothin'

We fought till nothin' remained

I've carried that nothin' for a long time….

 

Now my baby's coming in on the Tucson train.

 

Correction:

The album doesn't end with the song that I described, which I didn't know about, but was in the order that I received it on my internet purchase. In any case it worked just fine.

Edited by Buddy
Correction

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Perhaps the strongest feeling, as mentioned in one of many sympathetic reviews, is that of ‘hanging in there.’

[More listening more thoughts.

It seems like many of the songs are about a lover left behind and how life copes. Yet there’s often a wistful detachment, a just passing through, an absence of gravity. The album is punctuated with uplifts. Opening with Hitch Hikin’, The Wayfarer (less so) and Tucson train, there’s almost a joyous beginning. Song five, Sleepy Joe’s Café, picks things up again. Hello Sunshine, the second to last song and the first single released, can be seen as the cure, the anthem for happiness.]

If you just read the lyrics to some of the songs, as brilliantly as they're composed, you might still simply lower your head. But if you combine them with Bruce Springsteen’s delivery something more elevated might happen.

There’s a definite lovability. From the man who sang the high-powered, “If you’re tough enough for love” and beyond, there’s a new mellowness, vulnerability and compassion. Compassion has always been there, but not so embracably.

Bruce Springsteen, for me, showed a definite feel for the power and poetry of music several years ago in interpreting the works of others. Now he’s brought this to his own world. In this album he creates touching poetry by pushing the limits of his voice, his ear for musical expression and his heartfelt sensitivity.   

Edited by Buddy
[More listening more thoughts....] Added

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Thanks, Buddy. He sounds like he's channeling his inner Jackson Maine for this one. How is his voice holding up, overall?

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4 hours ago, dirac said:

Thanks, Buddy. He sounds like he's channeling his inner Jackson Maine for this one. How is his voice holding up, overall?

His voice seems to be holding up just fine, Dirac. In fact he seems to be taking his range to the limit and not covering it up with technical equipment. It almost breaks at times, but it’s left that way and is very effective. You can hear samples of all the songs here. 

https://www.amazon.com/Western-Stars-Bruce-Springsteen/dp/B07QRYB69C/ref=sr_1_1?crid=16IQU7L405FBX&keywords=bruce+springsteen+western+stars&qid=1560498720&s=dmusic&sprefix=Bruce%2Caps%2C1010&sr=1-1

I saw A Star Is Born with Jackson Maine played by Bradley Cooper, also featuring Lady Gaga, and although it’s often quite depressing, I thought that it was very well done. I really haven’t followed Bruce Springsteen that closely, being more a Beatles/Simon and Garfunkel 'sunshine' fan, so I can’t really tell you a lot about all his character-personas.

I’ve read that in his Broadway show, he states that he had been in therapy (I assume psychological and don’t know when) and the calmer state of mind that permeates this album is just what I would expect psychological counselling to encourage. I’m not sure if there’s any connection, but it does seem like a healthier place to be.

On a more artistic level, there appears to be a reaching out more for happiness and resolution. Yet the optimistic, first released single, Hello Sunshine was not the key last song, only the second to last. So Bruce is still somewhat the searching-observing loner. Artistically, his work has great merit. His soulfulness and compassion are deeply touching. His audiences lovingly embrace him for good reason. Hopefully, happiness is there as well.

Edited by Buddy

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Posted (edited)

There’s an Aura and promise to the album that really touches me.

I don’t often share Bruce Springsteen’s emphasis on the difficulties of life, but his world is rooted in the ‘now’ which is what makes it so meaningful for us. Sympathise with his point of view or not, he is of our times and he is a loving and caring messenger.

What this album suggests is an artistic departure. He’s taking pop-rock, perhaps the strongest cultural force of our times, and pointing it towards

High Art

opera, theatre, symphony and perhaps above all — Poetry.

The structure has been used by The Who in “Tommy,” where an entire pop-rock album is intended as a unified work. Bruce Springsteen’s album is not structured like The Who’s, but it has a ‘spirit,’ an intent and a reaching out that elevates into the realm of great art and timeless value — unequaled ‘craftsmanship,’ intelligence, significance, soulfulness and beauty.

An additional thought is that George Balanchine, for one, didn’t consider the difference between popular culture and high art to be all that important.

I, personally, would look forward to a more 'sunshiny' sensitivity to go with Bruce's poetic ability, which is  an exceptional poetry of sound as well as words.Two reviewers have mused about the artistry. Both ponder the move from ‘adored’ pop-rock hero to ‘Artist.’ Both  are touched by the possibilities. So am I.

 

Added:

 

And, please, just one more.

For me anyway, probably the greatest modern work of music remains The Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band,” both artistically and otherwise.

Edited by Buddy
"Added" and second to last paragraph added

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If I remember correctly, Springsteen's Nebraska album had a similar "total art work" sense to it.

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2 hours ago, sandik said:

If I remember correctly, Springsteen's Nebraska album had a similar "total art work" sense to it.

"Nebraska” — 1982, I just read. Almost 40 years ago. Wow !

Way before my times. Your’s too, I’m sure.  😊

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12 hours ago, Buddy said:

"Nebraska” — 1982, I just read. Almost 40 years ago. Wow !

Way before my times. Your’s too, I’m sure.  😊

Oh no, dead center in my times! 

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3 hours ago, sandik said:

Oh no, dead center in my times! 

I'm 76, so there may have been a miscalculation.  😊

Since we're here, I think that one of the really nice things is how Bruce comes across so personally, yet in complete compatibility, with a full orchestra. There also are times when he rivals the orchestra in range and intensity as in the song "Sundown." The expressive range of his voice is perhaps the most touching and impressive in "There Goes My Miracle."  

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62, so I'm still getting there.

I saw a dancework last weekend with a score of Nancy Sinatra songs, and have been thinking about the difference between popular singers working with a small ensemble and with a larger, more orchestral sound.  For quite a long time, we were accustomed to hearing the human voice in a guitar-based, rock and roll context, making a big distinction between that and a classical, operatic/classical recital environment.  Even in musical theater, the mix of popular song and orchestral accompaniment felt vintage somehow, rather than a choice that artists could make today.  But that's been changing -- especially with the advent of synthsizers (and their ability to create almost any sound imaginable) people are experimenting all over the place, and audiences are hearing a wider mix than we did in my "youth."

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57 minutes ago, sandik said:

62, so I'm still getting there.

I saw a dancework last weekend with a score of Nancy Sinatra songs, and have been thinking about the difference between popular singers working with a small ensemble and with a larger, more orchestral sound.  For quite a long time, we were accustomed to hearing the human voice in a guitar-based, rock and roll context, making a big distinction between that and a classical, operatic/classical recital environment.  Even in musical theater, the mix of popular song and orchestral accompaniment felt vintage somehow, rather than a choice that artists could make today.  But that's been changing -- especially with the advent of synthsizers (and their ability to create almost any sound imaginable) people are experimenting all over the place, and audiences are hearing a wider mix than we did in my "youth."

I haven’t really tried yet to pin down the sound on the new album. Most reviewers, and they’re all supportive, say that it’s definitely not what you’d expect from today’s pop-rock music. And it’s definitely not what you’d expect from Bruce. They cite late 60s early 70s ballad type songs, such as Glen Cambell’s “Witchita Lineman” or Harry Nilsson’s “Everybody’s Talkin.”

There might be a touch of musical theater, or Broadway, but in his hands it becomes something much more personal.

*** And the way that he sings it is absolutely ‘Soul-touching.’ I’m not sure I’ve ever heard such heartfully sincere singing before. ***

 

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On 6/14/2019 at 4:33 PM, Buddy said:

We fought hard over nothin' 

 

I think almost everyone has had this experience.

I agree, lots of Glen Campbell in here, both the delivery and the orchestration. 

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This can be deleted. It was a mistaken double posting.

 
Edited by Buddy

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56 minutes ago, sandik said:

I think almost everyone has had this experience.

I agree, lots of Glen Campbell in here, both the delivery and the orchestration. 

Thanks very much for your thoughts and interest, Sandik.

Let me drift again from what you’ve written because I could talk about this album for ages. You’ve had some very good thoughts about the ‘musical artistry’ that really deserve consideration. My diversion  for the moment is that the ‘heartful sincerity’ is what’s so essential and so embracing. This combined with the craft is what might make it great Art.

There are two post-Beatles albums that have really touched me, Joni Mitchell’s “Blue” and Paul Simon’s “There Goes Rhymin’ Simon.” They were both very encouraging statements.They were quite good and quite welcomed. Bruce’s album reaches me with a similar appreciation, but as I wrote, it’s a bittersweet statement. Yet I never thought I’d see the day when he’d release a song called “Hello Sunshine,” let alone feature it. It’s almost like he’s trying to send up a test balloon hoping that it’ll stay afloat. Let’s hope that it can.

One reviewer said that the difference with this album from the others, starting with “Nebraska,” which you mentioned, is that there’s a feeling of a second chance rather than a dead end. And importantly, I interpret four of these songs to be upliftingly optimistic. If we want to tie all this in with Art, then I guess that we can start with Poetry.

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On 6/21/2019 at 1:29 PM, sandik said:

I agree, lots of Glen Campbell in here, both the delivery and the orchestration. 

I’ve just listened to Glen Cambell’s “Witchita Lineman,” Sandik. I also agree that there’s a definite resemblance in sound between this and Bruce’s “There Goes My Miracle,” which I still consider the most expressive and touching vocal on the album. What I notice now is a bit of a crooner, but in a totally new context. This is a crooner who’s passed through the entire rock-life experience. It’s Bruce heartfully laying it out. All the rock ‘messages’ are present as well as a rock essence in the music translated into a more poetically lyrical, perhaps more theatrically meaningful sound.  It’s all these layers that might imply Art. Will this be a one of a kind album or will it point to a new artistic direction in the pop-rock culture ?

Here by the way is the previous mentioned and somewhat similar Harry Nilsson’s “Everybody Talkin.” It was written and also recorded by Fred Neil. If I had to chose a “message” direction I’d go with this.

(Provided to the internet by Sony Music Entertainment)

Added: Interesting title to the Nilsson album from our point of view. It's a remix of his two previous albums, "Pandemonium Shadow Show" and -- "Aerial Ballet."

 

Edited by Buddy
"Added" and reference to Fred Neil added

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