Entertainment

Mitchell: Bridges makes most of movie singing; Perri a talent to watch

Jeff Bridges:

(Blue Note/EMI)

This is Jeff Bridges’ debut album after his Oscar winning performance in Crazy Heart as a down on his luck and aging country musician. Bridges even wrote a couple of songs on the Crazy Heart soundtrack.

Meanwhile, his stage performance efforts were so credible in the film, he has now released this self-titled album as produced by ace country, roots wizard T. Bone Burnett (of Elvis Costello, Roy Orbison and the multi-platinum soundtrack Oh! Brother Where Art Thou fame).

This disc has been getting so-so reviews but I like it a lot better than some of my counterparts and this CD has made a credible showing in the mainstream charts at the No. 45 spot.

Bridges has a good shot at a radio hit with the Buddy Holly meets the new traditionalist movement and the up-tempo What A Little Bit Of Love Can Do.

But the rest of this eponymous Bridges album is mostly alt-country where a slightly less grizzled Leonard Cohen comes to mind on the artsy ballads Nothing Yet and Slow Boat.

Bridges hooks up with several musicians and songwriters that made Crazy Heart a successful seller with strong songs and picking from the likes of Ryan Bingham, Benji Hughes, Rosanne Cash and Sam Phillips—T. Bone’s ex-wife and not the legendary Sun Studios owner.

A couple of tunes here would fit nicely on an old David Lynch soundtrack and as a highly regarded actor Jeff Bridges is bound to get more attention for his alt-country efforts, but fans of standard fare, commercial hot new country will probably want to steer clear.

Still, a lot better than expected.

C+

 

Christina Perri:

Lovestrong (Atlantic)

 

Most musicians will tell you that luck is a huge component of career success. No one illustrates this better than American singer/songwriter Christina Perri who went from obscurity to a top-five hit in less than a month.

She recorded an indie EP a couple of years ago and somehow it caught the attention of the people behind So You Think You Can Dance who included her song, Jar Of Hearts, on one of its episodes and the song struck strongly with the show’s huge audience.

The song became an Internet phenomenon and Perri was immediately rushed into the studios where this excellent debut album was recorded.

Her hit song is a lovely and thematically fiercely independent piano ballad where the music reminds me of Zooey Deschanel (of Him And Her fame) meets Mary Hopkin (recalling her late ’60s hit Those Were The Days).

The rest of the songs on Lovestrong are also very good and are appreciated more and more with repeated listenings.  Check out the pretty and delicate Penguin while the other stickered feature songs here include the handsomely embroidered The Lonely and the near orchestral pop of Arms.

Perri’s career is on an upward tangent now that she has signed on to be the opening act for James Blunt.

And for trivia buffs: Her brother is a member of the platinum selling Shinedown.

A talent to watch.

B

 

 

 

mooseman19@shaw.ca

 

 

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