Historic Downtown eNews  |  Archive
Run to Sessions 27 and grab this CD!

NEW @ Sessions 27

August 24, 2011

Jeff Bridges — ‘Jeff Bridges’ Album Review by Ross Mikesell — There’s good reason to be skeptical when an actor releases an album of music, since the track record of these attempts won’t overwhelm you with confidence. However, there are occasionally exceptions to the rule and Jeff Bridges’ new self-titled album is one of them. The inspiration for the whole endeavor surely had something to do with Bridges’ Oscar winning role in the 2009 film Crazy Heart, in which he played “Bad” Blake, an aging country singer in decline. The album is produced by T-Bone Burnett, who also produced the soundtrack for Crazy Heart, and he lends his trademark brand of clean-cut authenticity to its sound. Bridges’ real life musical career is decidedly less rowdy than the fictional one he portrayed in the film and his songs are a mellow affair.

The first song on the album, “What a Little Love Can Do” is the most active of the bunch, a catchy country shuffle that feels a bit like an unearthed Roy Orbison b-side, with a melody that you can hum for days. After that, for the most part, the pace slows down to a road-weary country saunter while lyrically it stays solidly in the standard country territory of cars, women, love and loss. In fact, Bridges himself wrote several songs on the album including the more folky and somewhat spooky of the bunch, “Tumbling Vine.” There are a few guest vocalists on the album including Rosanne Cash and Ryan Bingham (co-writer of the theme song to Crazy Heart) but mostly it’s Bridges that has to carry the day and he certainly does. His voice has a low-key confidence that doesn’t necessarily need to rise above a growl to convey the world of each song. The album feels like a pleasant but weary passenger riding shotgun beside you, sharing stories of his life to pass the time on a night drive. It isn’t one to listen to while you race down the highway with the windows down but it’s definitely perfect to turn up, sit back on the hood of your truck and let Jeff Bridges tell you what it’s all about. As always you can buy this album as well as thousands of others at Sessions 27 on State St. in downtown Bristol.