Bruce Springsteen - 'Western Stars'

7/10

In his near five decade career, Bruce Springsteen has tried almost every avenue in the book, but until now we had never gotten to hear the legendary frontman try his hand at the concept album. Sitting somewhere between a solo record and a full E Street Band composition, the master story teller looks to bring his tales of American humility to his nineteenth studio album 'Western Stars' to a more cohesive light, making this return one of his more poignant and provocative releases to date.

While he has always looked to promote the lesser seen characters of the United States, they have usually been from his own perspective. But this time around, Springsteen is telling their story through their own eyes, giving this release a more connected and personal feel than most. Filled with traditional Americana-esque instrumentation, such as banjos, slide guitars and full on brass ensembles, 'Western Stars' makes for a bold and emphatic return that sees the singer and songwriter deliver a truly memorable release, which is no easy feat for a musician that has been going as long as he has.

It would be strange to think of Bruce Springsteen going through a musical evolution this late in his career, but that seems to be exactly what we have. He has almost given up entirely on his formative sound, opting for something more experimental and daring throughout. 'Western Stars' sits as his love-letter to the United States, and one that finds beauty and affection in the unlikeliest of places.

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