Jeff Bridges: Jeff Bridges

The actor's second album is relaxed and pleasant but lacking the grit he injected into his portrayal of Otis "Bad" Blake in the movie Crazy Heart.

Jeff Bridges

EMI

***

There is typically an extra dose of cynicism when it comes to reviewing actors' attempts at solo albums. And that's because much of the music released is the result of pure opportunity rather than hard work. (Would Scarlett Johansson have received the green light by any record label to release a Tom Waits covers album if she were not a Hollywood A-lister?)

At least when it comes to Jeff Bridges, the man does have some musical form. His eponymous second album follows his 2000 debut, Be Here Soon, which was released after his critically acclaimed role in The Big Lebowski. This time around, fresh from his Oscar success as Otis "Bad" Blake in Crazy Heart, Bridges delivers a rootsy 12 song set, minus the movie character's inner demons.

Carefully produced by T Bone Burnett, the songs here shuffle along quietly as Bridges's lived-in voice spreads over lost love and opportunities. Maybe I Missed the Point is a heartfelt gem due to its direct lyrics (by songwriter John Goodwin), while the rolling Nothing Yet benefits from inventive arrangements. But while the whole affair sounds relaxed and pleasant, the relentlessly low-key productions by Burnett makes you miss some of the grit Bridges injected into his musical performances in Crazy Heart.

Published: August 23, 2011 04:00 AM

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