Broken Bridges

Broken Bridges

Though fans shouldn't mistake this various-artists soundtrack for the next Toby Keith album, the music for Keith's star-turn film (also featuring Kelly Preston, Burt Reynolds, and Willie Nelson) builds from reflective balladry to unbridled, triumphant rock. It may be hard to separate the thematic sequencing from the movie it accompanies, but the soundtrack itself tells a story. It begins with Keith's melancholy, violin-drenched duet with Lindsey Haun on the title track; progresses through the spiritual uplift of a revival of "Uncloudy Day" that finds Willie Nelson and BeBe Winans joining Keith, as well as Sonya Isaacs's testament to faith on "The Battlefield" (with harmonies by Vince Gill); and culminates in the rambunctious "Big Bull Rider," the bluesy boogie of "Zig Zag Stop," and the full-throttle rock 'n' roll of the closing "Jacky Don Tucker (Play by the Rules, Miss All the Fun)." Matraca Berg, Fred Eaglesmith, and Keith's running buddy Scotty Emerick are among the others contributing tracks. While Keith sings on only 7 of the 13 cuts, there's a unifying vision throughout. <i>--Don McLeese</i>