Jeff Bridges by Jeff Bridges

 Jeff Bridges’ extensive film credits, which range from big earners such as Iron Man to the cult favorite The Big Lebowski, testify to the highly rated actor’s preference for scripts that veer off the grid—a tendency that makes him an unlikely candidate for a tossed-off, radio-targeted country album.

True to form, his major-label debut is a personal, understated and unpredictable collection. Bridges’ Academy Award-winning portrayal of musician Bad Blake in 2009’s Crazy Heart is the impetus for this album, which resumes his relationship with Crazy Heart soundtrack producer and longtime friend T Bone Burnett and involves other associates from that project as well as guest Rosanne Cash.

Burnett helps his pal concoct a sound that again taps into alternative, Texas-flavored country and, like his list of film roles, intriguingly straddles the conventional and the offbeat. Patient listeners may find that these low-key, inward-gazing songs begin to offer rewards after multiple plays, and even those who don’t will likely agree that Bridges’ musical efforts are no mere act.

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