Various Artists - Broken Bridges
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Broken Bridges (ShowDog Nashville, 2006)

Various Artists

Reviewed by Michael Sudhalter

Toby Keith's debut on the silver screen is underscored by this impressive, eclectic 14-song soundtrack. Unlike some recording artists, Keith didn't load the entire disc with his own songs. He performs on five songs on his own and collaborates on two others. He sings with newcomer Lindsey Haun on the title cut and joins Willie Nelson and Bebe Winans for an exceptional performance on the gospel classic "Uncloudy Day.”

The 21-year-old Haun, the 16-year-old daughter of country singer Bo Price (played by Keith) in the film, is superb on the first single "Broken," but the song is a straight power ballad - having nothing to do with country music.

The album runs the gamut from the aforementioned gospel to the rootsy Fred Eaglesmith tune "Thinkin' Bout You.” It also includes Sonya Isaacs' somber bluegrass song "The Battlefield," Flynnville Train's southern rocker "High on the Mountain" and Keith's macho, in-your-face "Big Bull Rider.”

Songwriters Scotty Emerick, a member of Keith’s band, and Matraca Berg are underrated as performers, but they get a chance to shine on "What's Up With That?" and "Along For the Ride," respectively, two of the best cuts.

Of Keith's songs, only two were previously released. "Jacky Don Tucker (Play By the Rules Miss All the Fun)" was on the 1997 "Dream Walkin'" album. It's the most country song on the soundtrack. Keith also released an acoustic version of "Crash Here Tonight," which appears in a standard version on his recent "White Trash With Money" release.

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