Album Review: Jeff Bridges
Release Date: Blue Note Records
Record Label: August 16, 2011
Jeff Bridges will release his self-titled major-label debut album on August 16th, 2011, on Blue Note Records. The album is produced by multiple-Grammy Award-winning songwriter, musician, and producer T Bone Burnett, whom Bridges has known for more than 30 years. With Burnett on-board, the bar is set very high for expectations of how well this album is produced, and they do not disappoint.
Recorded in Los Angeles and Brooklyn, NY, Jeff Bridges features material by world-class songwriters, including the late Stephen Bruton (“What A Little Bit of Love Can Do,” “Nothing Yet”), John Goodwin (“Maybe I Missed The Point,” “Everything But Love,” “The Quest”), Greg Brown (“Blue Car”), and Bo Ramsay (“Either Way”).
The album also features several of Bridges’ own compositions, including “Falling Short,” a surreal song that builds an atmosphere not unlike something from Serge Gainsbourg, Nick Drake, or even Bob Dylan. “Tumbling Vine” is a trippy piece reminiscent of some early psychedelic songs of the 1960′s. “Slow Boat” is brooding song with a great guitar riff. Makes you want to sit back, close your eyes, and imagine yourself as part of the scene the song has set. Powerful.
To perform the songs, Burnett assembled a tremendous cast of skilled musicians, including keyboardist Keefus Ciancia, guitarist Mark Ribot, bassist Dennis Crouch, pedal-steel guitarist Russ Pahl, and drummer Jay Bellerose, as well as guest vocalists Rosanne Cash, Ryan Bingham, Sam Phillips, and Benji Hughes. Burtnett himself also contributes a lot of guitar-work on this album.
Usually I cringe when I learn that an actor has decided they want to release an album of music. The results are seldom stellar. Jeff Bridges has proven to be an exception. Whether it’s acting, photography, and now music (though it’s certainly not his first attempt), he seems to thrive on creativity and excels at whatever he gets his hands on. With it’s top notch production, musicianship, song-writing, and an exceptional performance by Bridges, this is one of the best releases we’ve heard this year.
- “What A Little Bit Of Love Can Do”
- “Falling Short”
- “Maybe I Missed The Point”
- “Tumbling Vine”
- “Nothing Yet”
- “Blue Car”
- “Slow Boat”
- “Either Way”
- “Everything But Love”
- “The Quest”