Rolling Stone says that Bruce Springsteen’s Western Stars, contains some of the Boss’ “most beguiling work ever” and “some of his most polished singing,” “sounding like nothing he’s done before,” in their savage review of his new album, the most negative they’ve given to an album of Springsteen originals in nearly 25 years.
Slate has been following the magazine’s strange love affair with the Boss since 2012, when we noted that every rock album Springsteen had released that decade had earned their highest possible rating, representing more than a quarter of all five-star reviews they’d given out to new albums this century. And while the first cracks in their union seemed to show in 2014, when they gave the veteran rocker’s Wrecking Ball a mere 4.5 stars (!), they seemed to patch things up months later, when they named it the No. 2 album of the year, second only to another artist apparently hitting their peak, U2.