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Album review: Jeff Bridges' Jeff Bridges
In stores: now
3 out of 5 asterisks ***
BY MAX ASAYESH-BROWN, St. Petersburg High
Every so often, a well-known actor makes a go at success in the music industry. And every so often he/she crashes and burns. But I’m glad to say Jeff Bridges’ major-label debut album won’t be joining that club.
Bridges isn’t entirely new to the field, having not only practiced music since his teens but also having won an Academy Award for his performance as a B-list country musician in Crazy Heart.
The opening track, What a Little Bit of Love Can Do, makes a good first impression. No doubt it sounds clichéd, but its easy-on-the-ears euphonic melody fueled by the timbre of electric guitar almost makes you forget about the simplicity of the lyrics. But not entirely — a lack of effort is reflected in the repeated rhyme of “blue,” “do,” etc., as if Bridges had to add an obligatory “love-makes-the-world-go-’round” song just because.
Everything But Love employs interesting steel guitar that I wouldn’t expect from Jeff Bridges as much as a grass-skirt clad Hawaiian group. Intriguing as the use of the instrument is, it doesn’t use his talent to its fullest.
Most of the songs are relatively slow; particularly the appropriately titled Slow Boat, a six-minute piece that’s essentially one big guitar solo of over-enunciated notes, an apt accompaniment to, say, a walk through the Ozarks.
However, smooth harmonies in this song as well as Either Way do please the senses, and it’s gems like the latter that really tie the album together. The Quest is also notable, a simple acoustic tune, the sort I expected nothing but from the album.
I had mixed feelings about this celebrated artist’s new release, but the Dude doesn’t disappoint.