2019 album. Also available on vinyl.
‘Western Stars’, Bruce Springsteen’s first new studio album in five years takes his music to a new place, drawing inspiration in part from the Southern California pop records of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. The album was recorded primarily at Springsteen’s home studio in New Jersey, with additional recording in California and New York. “This record is a return to my solo recordings featuring character driven songs and sweeping, cinematic orchestral arrangements,” says Springsteen. “It’s a jewel box of a record”.
The 13 tracks of ‘Western Stars’ encompass a sweeping range of American themes, of highways and desert spaces, of isolation and community and the permanence of home and hope. Again, Bruce teamed up with Ron Aniello (who produced his last two albums ‘High Hopes’ and ‘Wrecking Ball’) who plays bass, keyboard, and other instruments. Patti Scialfa provides vocals and contributes vocal arrangements on four tracks. The musical arrangements include strings, horns, pedal steel and contributions from more than 20 other players including Jon Brion (who plays celeste, Moog, and farfisa), as well as guest appearances by David Sancious, Charlie Giordano, and Soozie Tyrell. The album was mixed by Tom Elmhirst.
Springsteen has spoken of ‘Western Stars’ previously, suggesting that it was recorded before his run in ‘Springsteen on Broadway’, which spanned from October 2017 to December 2018. “[The] record is influenced by Southern California pop music of the ‘70s, Glen Campbell, Jimmy Webb, Burt Bacharach, those kinds of records. I don’t know if people will hear those influences, but that was what I had in my mind. It gave me something to hook an album around; it gave me some inspiration to write.”