Saturday, 25 January 2020

Lovesong: Western Stars


We watched this yesterday evening. As a pitch perfect rendition of the album - in sequence - it doesn't feel like a performance: more like 3D accompaniment: flesh to the bone. It endorses what a fine set of songs 'Western Stars' is and confirms that Bruce is solid, sanguine, aging gracefully. His tone poem intro's are done in a theatrical gravel, a lilt that he surely developed on Broadway, but I like that; it adds a solemn gravity to the proceedings. The whole presentation is impeccable and, whether you love or loath the man's music, you can't deny his authenticity. A burnished sepia imbues the sense of nostalgia: a tugging tenderness informs the beautiful bleakness of many of the songs. It is no sad parade though, it's also a celebration of the joys of 'Pop': the lilting, rushing strings often lifting Springsteen's knowing croon to Orbisonesque heights.

His recent autobiography revealed a surprisingly fragile man who often hurt the ones he loved and who loved him: Bruce concedes that this is an attempt to make the broken pieces fit, or at least meld his sharp edges with another fractured souls'. It is particularly moving therefore to watch he and Patti console and resolve during the finale, when old home footage of the couple, just married, segues into 'Moonlight Motel': they circle in dignified dance, then lean into each other: a perfect fit.


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