Bruce Springsteen's got a thing for trains. The railroad has long been a metaphor that underlines our relationships to labor, to lovers, to the American experience. A man's laid off and loses his spouse in "Downbound Train" (Born in the U.S.A.) and on a song from 1998's Tracks, Springsteen compares the eyes of the soul to a "leavin' train."
The singles from the forthcoming Western Stars seem to find Springsteen in a nostalgic mode. "There Goes My Miracle" channels Roy Orbison, and "Hello Sunshine" has got a pensive '70s songwriter vibe. The latest, "Tucson Train," maintains the string-swept bittersweetness we've heard so far, as the narrator awaits his lover at the station, to show her he's changed, that "hard work'll clear your mind and body / The hard sun will burn out the pain."
Western Stars comes out June 14 via Columbia.