Bruce Springsteen - “Western Stars” Album Review

Story posted August 29, 2019 in Arts & Entertainment by William Roche.

This album was originally released on June 14, 2019.

Bruce Springsteen has been remastering old albums and talking about himself for a while. Fresh off his acclaimed “Springsteen on Broadway,” Springsteen performed for roughly two and a half hours for a sold-out audience in an intimate setting.

In June, however, Springsteen released his newest project for eager fans. Titled “Western Stars," this album is filled with entirely original tracks that are an ode to the “soft rock” of the 1970s. There are no saxophone or guitar solos, no songs that will make stadiums explode and fans yell, but instead large orchestral movements and an aging Bruce Springsteen.

From the opening lines like, “thumb stuck out as I go…” on the song “Hitch Hikin’,” the listener hears a twangy guitar and a dry voice. The audience is immediately transported to a setting that fits Bruce Springsteen’s recent philosophies.

As the album moves past the first track, the themes stay the same: with age comes regrets, loneliness and the eventual reminiscing about the good and bad times. It isn’t until “Sleepy Joe’s Café” where the tempo picks up but it then comes down again only to plateau at what seems to be an easy, steady tempo.

The second half of the album brings songs like “Chasin’ Wild Horses." This song stands out for the beautiful orchestral arrangement that sets the backdrop for what Springsteen wants the listener to understand: he is getting older and wants everyone to know it. The album ends with a somber “Moonlight Motel," bringing a reminiscent note that surely belongs in a movie.

This album is very concept heavy that follows an aging Springsteen. Each song is meant to tell a story. The title track “Western Stars,” for instance, talks about once shooting a movie with John Wayne towards the end of his career. The listener can’t help but see the characters in their own mind based off of their own experiences or simply by the words he writes.

This album makes an impact because it is not only the first original Bruce Springsteen album since 2014, but it highlights more to come. A new “E Street Band” album is on the way and, in October, Bruce will put the music of “Western Stars” into a film. Fans will surely see more to come from Springsteen's latest projects, showing that the aging man is certainly not slowing down.

Rating: 7/10

Reviewer’s Favorite Song: “Chasin’ Wild Horses”

Reviewer’s Least Favorite Song: “Stones”


William Roche is a junior majoring in film/video. To contact him, email