by Bob Seger
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Arriving a mere eight years after the decade-in-the-making Face the Promise, Ride Out nearly feels rushed by Bob Seger's latter-day standards. At 34 minutes, it's brief and nearly half of its ten songs were composed by songwriters other than Seger, two characteristics that would suggest something of a patchwork job if it weren't for the fact that in the days before the Silver Bullet Band, Bob used to regularly split his brief albums between originals and covers. In its construction, Ride Out mirrors early albums like Back in 72 but it comes from the days after the Silver Bullet Band, the days where Seger surrounded himself with highly paid professional musicians who didn't leave a note out of place. Oddly, even with all these pros aboard here, Ride Out feels like the homespun work of an old millionaire rocker, a record that prefers to amiably ramble instead of driving full-speed ahead. Often, Seger sticks strictly to his wheelhouse -- a charging rendition of John Hiatt's "Detroit Made" is textbook Seger, from its fist-pumping chorus to its rapturous odes to bucket seats -- but he's just as likely to veer into gutbucket blues (the hard-hitting "Hey Gypsy," his best original here) or country story-telling (Steve Earle's "The Devil's Right Hand" and Kasey Chambers' "Adam and Eve," the two best covers here). Although Ride Out might cover too much disparate ground, there's some charm in the fact that Seger is loose enough to keep his ends untied. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

  • Format: Vinyl
  • Genre: Pop

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