Water & Bridges

Water & Bridges

by Kenny Rogers
     
 

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On his first new studio album in three years, Kenny Rogers hews to the strengths that have made him one of the bestselling country artists of all time -- namely, well-crafted story and love songs and basic acoustic-based backing, augmented by electric guitars, fiddles, dobros, pianos, steel guitar, and pop-styled string arrangements. Rogers has an ear for universal

Overview

On his first new studio album in three years, Kenny Rogers hews to the strengths that have made him one of the bestselling country artists of all time -- namely, well-crafted story and love songs and basic acoustic-based backing, augmented by electric guitars, fiddles, dobros, pianos, steel guitar, and pop-styled string arrangements. Rogers has an ear for universal themes, and he brings them home with some of the most understated and effective interpretive singing of his storied career. Don Henley joins him on a solid, propulsive reminiscence of the old home place and its metaphysical hold on the soul in "Calling Me," and unheralded backup singer Sarah Buxton adds a moving second voice to "Someone Somewhere Tonight," a surging ballad about the first moments that signal a sea change in individual lives, even as love persists, Even so, it's Rogers's embodiment of his characters that makes this album so memorable. His delicate touch on "I Can't Unlove You" captures the remorse and enduring angst of a breakup that shouldn't have been, a story played out against a backdrop of churchy piano and a keening fiddle line. A stirring country ballad that's sure to generate some conversation, "The Last Ten Years (Superman)," is a Baedeker of the past decade's tumultuous social and political upheavals, with each verse bracketed by a roll call of departed cultural icons. Introspective and restrained, Water & Bridges is rich with life, and master craftsman Rogers makes sure we feel it all the way.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
If there was ever a record that sounded like a swan song, Kenny Rogers' fine, vulnerable Water & Bridges is it. The cover is a bit startling; who thought he'd ever age? He always looked like he was somewhere in his middle to late fifties. But that look is traceable if you look deep enough, while Rogers seems to wear his age proudly, like Kris Kristofferson and Willie Nelson. The disc sounds like a goodbye to all the illusions, regrettable mistakes, and foolhardiness brought by living into the wisdom brought by the golden years. Rogers' career has seen so many heights, it's dizzying to think about. And he's still hanging out on Capitol while many of his contemporaries are struggling on independent labels, if they're recording at all. Water & Bridges isn't a perfect record, but it's a sincere one, and there are many tracks here that no other singer could pull off. And to be truthful, as in his very best material, Rogers has this uncanny ability to make everything on this record sound like it came from his own pen. It's a melancholy record about passage, from one stage to the next, of life, of love, of youth, of ignorance, of spirit. The 11 tracks here are all slow, all reflective. It's that particular brand of slick, soft, modern country and pop that he does better than anyone. There is one true dud in the bunch called "The Last Ten Years (Superman)," which is merely a novelty song about all the famous ones who passed on in the last decade. But there are so many tracks here where one can hear the spirit of mortality railing against the dying of the light. There is the title cut, which opens the disc and charts generations of fathers hurting their sons both born and unborn, where the protagonist finds himself as guilty as anybody he's charged; "Someone Is Me," about taking on civic responsibility; the killer "Someone Somewhere Tonight," which finds magic in the mere presence of everyday life. Don Henley joins Rogers on "Calling Me." It's a white man's country-soul tune that sounds too much like Curtis Mayfield's classic "People Get Ready." (Litigants get ready, set, go!) The vocal performances are stellar. "I Can Feel You Drifting" is a fine pop song, and it's a true heartbreaker. In the now thinning grain of Rogers' awesome voice, all the emptiness and sorrow and confusion in the world comes to call. Water & Bridges is as good as anything out there in 2006 and a whole lot better than most of the dross Nash Vegas shovels out. Hopefully Rogers scores big one more time.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/21/2006
Label:
Liberty
UPC:
0724356361423
catalogNumber:
63614

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Kenny Rogers   Primary Artist,Vocals
Bruce Dukov   Violin
Eric Darken   Percussion
Bruce Bouton   Dobro,Steel Guitar
Mike Brignardello   Bass
Paul Buckmaster   Conductor
Darius Campo   Violin
Matt Chamberlain   Drums
Ronald Folsom   Violin
Shannon Forrest   Drums
Vince Gill   Background Vocals
Kenny Greenberg   Electric Guitar
Alan Grunfeld   Violin
Warren Hartman   Synthesizer
Paula Hochhalter   Cello
Jim Hoke   Accordion
Dann Huff   Electric Guitar
John Jarvis   Piano
Charles Judge   Synthesizer,Keyboards
Gordon Mote   Piano
Carole Mukogawa   Viola
Russ Pahl   Steel Guitar
Michael Rhodes   Bass
Haim Shtrum   Violin
Josefina Vergara   Violin
Miwako Watanabe   Violin
Biff Watson   Acoustic Guitar
Jonathan Yudkin   Bouzouki,Fiddle,Mandolin,Track Performer
Susan Chatman   Violin
Karen Elaine Bakunin   Viola
Russell Terrell   Background Vocals
Suzie Katayama   Cello
Bob Peterson   Violin
Natalie Leggett   Violin
Rudy Stein   Cello
Bryan Sutton   Acoustic Guitar
Perry Coleman   Background Vocals
Tom Bukovac   Electric Guitar
Dan Smith   Cello
Sarah Buxton   Background Vocals
Tereza Stanislav   Violin
Dan Tobin Smith   Cello
Matthew Funes   Viola

Technical Credits

Bryan Loren   Composer
Derek Allen   Composer
Jeff Balding   Engineer
Marc Beeson   Composer
Paul Buckmaster   String Arrangements
Steve Churchyard   Engineer
Mark Hagen   Engineer
Dann Huff   Producer,Audio Production
Bat McGrath   Composer
Justin Niebank   Engineer
Tim Nichols   Composer
Mike Reid   Composer
Bryant Simpson   Composer
Anthony Smith   Composer
Craig Wiseman   Composer
Jonathan Yudkin   Arranger,Composer
Annie Roboff   Composer
Jed Hackett   Engineer
Billy Kirsch   Composer
Walt Wilkins   Composer
Davis Raines   Composer
Joanna Carter   Art Direction
Don Pfrimmer   Composer
Tim Johnson   Composer
Ashley Gorley   Composer
Tommy Conners   Composer
D. Vincent Williams   Composer
Wade Kirby   Composer

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