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Image: Jeff Bridges album cover
AP
Jeff Bridges wrote two of the songs himself and co-wrote another with producer T Bone Burnett.
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updated 8/15/2011 3:03:53 PM ET 2011-08-15T19:03:53
Review

If Bad Blake, the boozy country singer Jeff Bridges played in 2009's "Crazy Heart," could make albums, he may have made something like "Jeff Bridges." The actor's self-titled album is decidedly country, at once sad and hopeful, laced with heartfelt harmonies and slide guitars.

Perhaps inspired by the movie and certainly made possible by his Oscar win, Bridges sought out his longtime friend (and "Crazy Heart" songwriter and producer) T Bone Burnett to produce the 10-song collection, which features tracks penned by other contributors to the film. Bridges wrote two of the songs himself and co-wrote another with Burnett.

The actor's two self-penned tracks, "Falling Short" and "Tumbling Vine," are among the album's most haunting and contemplative, as the 61-year-old sings about what it means to be alive. He continues that theme on "Slow Boat," the song he wrote with Burnett, and throughout the CD. "If it's as bad or good as it can get, well, you ain't seen nothing yet," he sings on one track. "I wasn't born to be standing still long," he sings on another. "You know one day my tombstone will say born to be gone."

Story: 'The Dude abides': The quotable Lebowski

The Dude is a deep guy, but Bridges is at his best when he's singing about love. He's earnest on "Either Way," and downright heart-wrenching on "Everything But Love," singing, "The moon cries on the mountains/When it looks down from above/and it sees everything but love."

Bridges, Burnett and Bad Blake should be proud of the actor's eponymous CD. Its 10 songs are solid, if sometimes sad, establishing Bridges as a bonafide musician, not just a guy who plays one on screen.

CHECK OUT THIS TRACK: On the opening track, "What a Little Bit of Love Can Do," Bridges sounds like the cheery-eyed uncle everyone wishes they had. Written by his close friend who died in 2009, Bridges played the song informally for years before leading off his album with it. Upbeat and sweet, the song offers a taste of Bridges' country style and big-hearted vocals.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Photos: Unforgettable images from 'The Big Lebowski'

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  1. White Russians

    One of the most iconic images from "The Big Lebowski" is The Dude's (Jeff Bridges) ever-present White Russian, a mix of vodka, Kahlua and half and half. He's very protective of them ("careful, man, there's a beverage here!") and can be creative about ordering one. ("Another Caucasian, Gary.") (Everett Collection) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. The rug

    When mixed-up would-be thugs break into The Dude's home by mistake, one of them urinates on his rug as a show of force. It's ridiculous, yes, but for The Dude, that makes things personal. He ends up getting a replacement rug from the real "Big Lebowski," which is good because as fans know, it really tied the room together. (Everett Collection) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. The robe

    Let's say The Dude's sense of style is a little laid-back. He's as likely to be seen at the grocery store in slippers and his ever-present robe as he is relaxing in them at home. (Everett Collection) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Bowling

    When asked what he does for recreation, The Dude tells Maude "Oh, the usual. I bowl. Drive around. The occasional acid flashback." Bowling is a vital part of the Dude's social life, and it's where he and Walter (John Goodman), center, and Donny (Steve Buscemi), right, attempt to get a handle on their oddly complicated lives. Walter, of course, will not roll on Shabbos. (Everett Collection) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. The marmot/ferret and the Nihilists

    German Nihilists have an odd sense of how to torture someone. In one memorable scene, they drop a live animal into The Dude's bathtub while he's in it. He calls it a marmot, but we're pretty sure it's a ferret. Whatever it is, it doesn't like bathing. (Everett Collection) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. The toe

    When The Dude doesn't deliver on his promises, The Big Lebowski hands him a gauze-wrapped little toe sent to him by the supposed kidnappers. As we learn in the end, the toe doesn't belong to Bunny Lebowski, but toes in general are a theme of the movie. In one scene, Bunny flirts with The Dude by asking him to blow on her toenail polish, and in another, Walter almost kills a fellow bowler for letting his toe slip over the foul line. (Everett Collection) Back to slideshow navigation
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Video: ‘Little Bit of Love’ for Jeff Bridges

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