Bob Segar cover

Bob Segar

While some artists evolve throughout the course of their career, others simply refine their style until it is a well oiled machine, instantly recognizable to all ears it falls upon.

Bob Seger is definitely a member of the latter club, pumping out album after album of quality rock, nothing more and nothing less.

The legendary Seger returned on Sept. 12 with his first new album in a decade. In a way, I was surprised to learn that it had been so long since his last record. In another way, though, it’s really not that surprising given the fact that we are inundated by his classics daily on rock and classic rock radio programs.

The Detroit native has had more than his fair share of massive hits for nearly three decades and “Face the Promise” delivers more of the same.

The only thing that really distinguishes this album from, say the “Night Moves” album, is a slightly harder edge. In the ’70s, Seger sounded like a true rock ’n’ roller, and in the new millennium he still sounds like his only business is rock ’n’ roll.

“Face the Promise” is filled with catchy rock ’n’ roll standards, although there is a hint of blues and gospel. The blues and gospel moments deliver just enough flavor to let you know “the boy’s got soul” but not enough to take away from anything he’s doing.

If you like Bob Seger’s previous musical offerings, than every song here will sound sweet.

The opening track, “Wreck This Heart,” is one of the strongest tracks on the album. Seger sounds truly great on this song. It has a very comfortable feel that makes it extremely likable. The almost surf rock riffing that permeates from the title track is a lot of fun and even (dare I say) slightly different for Seger. Nothing too drastic, but it certainly keeps the album’s motor running.

Not be outdone by its immediate predecessor, however, the inspirational ballad “No Matter Who You Are” delivers the album’s finest moment. This is quite simply the best song that Bob Seger has done in years. Is it a little cheesy? Yes. Does it make you feel good? Yes. Does it have soul? Oh yeah. All of these three elements really come together to make a tremendously enjoyable sure fire hit.

Seger also offers duets with both rap rock icon and fellow Detroit native Kid Rock (“Real Mean Bottle”) and country megastar Patty Loveless (“The Answer’s in the Question”). Both of these songs are mediocre at best, but it is definite evidence of the wide range of influence Seger’s music has had throughout his career.

Not many artists can claim to have truly influenced multiple genres of music. Bob Seger is one of the last people I would have given this credit to, but once you stop and think about it, it makes a lot of sense.

Overall, “Face the Promise” is an album that sounds like Bob Seger and no one else. It sounds the same as every one of his albums. The songs are solid (even great at times) and the production is great, but after 10 years, I think something that stretched his boundaries a bit more would have been nice. Regardless, “Face the Promise” is sure to be a hit because after a decade of waiting everyone is ready to check this one out.

“Face the Promise” is available everywhere now on Capitol Records.

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