FACE THE PROMISE

-- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 2:40 PM ET


Bob Seger
Face the Promise
(Capitol/EMI)

The stranger is back in town. Face the Promise is Michigan rocker Bob Seger's first CD since 1995's underwhelming It's a Mystery. But considering how rested, rejuvenated and ready to rock he sounds on this 18th release, the real mystery is why the 61-year-old waited so long.

Striking a pose between the Ramblin' Gamblin' Man soul-power of his early days and the Beautiful Loser ballads of his peak, Seger leads a crew of hired guns through a consistently strong set of tracks penned over the past five years.

Barnburners like the title cut and Wreck This Heart have the chugging heartland-rock guitar riffs. Slowburners like Wait for You and Won't Stop fulfil the soulful balladeer quotient. Funkers like Simplicity and Between bring the grooves and horns. A honky-tonking blues-rocking duet with Kid Rock on Real Mean Bottle and a country-tinged ballad with Patty Loveless build bridges to younger fans.

And everything is graced with Seger's gruff, chesty vocals and peopled with the disillusioned but resolute blue-collar everymen of a million Springsteen and Mellencamp songs. In other words, it's pretty much what you want in a Seger disc. And what he wants too.

"Simplicity," he says at one point, "works for me." Works for us too.

Don't be a stranger, Bob.

Track Listing:

1. Wreck This Heart
2. Wait For Me
3. Face The Promise
4. No Matter Who You Are
5. Are You
6. Simplicity
7. No More
8. Real Mean Bottle (with Kid Rock)
9. Won?t Stop
10. Between
11. The Answer?s In The Question (with Patty Loveless)
12. The Long Goodbye


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