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Bruce Springsteen Channels Roy Orbison In 'There Goes My Miracle'

Bruce Springsteen has clearly spent the last few years with an eye toward the past; after all, he did just spend months reflecting on his life and career in a Broadway run full of ruefully administered songs and stories. Last month's "Hello Sunshine," the first single from Springsteen's new album Western Stars, certainly looks back, both in its tone of weary regret — "You fall in love with lonely, you end up that way" — and in its spare, slide-guitar-infused instrumentation.

Now that we've got a second song from Western Stars, a clearer picture of the album (his 19th, and first in five years) is coming into focus. "There Goes My Miracle" captures Springsteen at his most musically introspective, as he presides over a dense, string-swept studio sound that transcends time and place, but feels rooted in another era. The new track could so easily have been written for Roy Orbison — who'd have made a meal of its soaring-yet-plainspoken chorus — that it's hard to believe it's not already a standard Springsteen dusted off for the occasion. Which, come to think of it, is a high compliment.

Western Stars comes out June 14 via Columbia.

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Stephen Thompson is a writer, editor and reviewer for NPR Music, where he speaks into any microphone that will have him and appears as a frequent panelist on All Songs Considered. Since 2010, Thompson has been a fixture on the NPR roundtable podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour, which he created and developed with NPR correspondent Linda Holmes. In 2008, he and Bob Boilen created the NPR Music video series Tiny Desk Concerts, in which musicians perform at Boilen's desk. (To be more specific, Thompson had the idea, which took seconds, while Boilen created the series, which took years. Thompson will insist upon equal billing until the day he dies.)