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
Label: Capital / Release date: September 12, 2006
Almost from the start of 70's arena rock, Bob Seger has embodied the classic mid-western rocker. His songs tell about blue collar life, the working class and the freedom of the open road. "Face The Promise," his first studio release in over a decade, shows us where the open highways have taken this musical road warrior on the journey that has been his life and career, and it was worth the wait. This CD is a mix of unmistakable Seger rockers, introspective ballads, duets and yes, even political statements from this rock icon. Sung with conviction, in a voice that ranges from smooth harmonies to raspy gravel, each song can stand on its own merit. It has been a long time since "The Bob Seger System" released "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man"; his voice has aged, sometimes dropping a note or slightly off key, but it resonates with a clear distinction that is pure Bob Seger.
The 12 songs that make up this CD are varied, from catchy rockers like "Wreck This Heart," "Face The Promise," and the wickedly grooved "Are You." On these songs, the lyrics hook you and the driving beat and classic guitar riffs reel you in. Then there are the ballads, like "Wait For Me" and "No Matter Who You Are," that are sung with a clear voice that shows the emotion of where he has been and what he has seen. Even the duets, the first a country rocker with Kid Rock, written by Vince Gill, called "Real Mean Bottle" acknowledges the hard drinking country pioneers that wrote and played what poured out after the bottle was empty. This should be an easy crossover hit to the country charts. And much like his duet with Martina McBride years ago the much softer "The Answer Is In The Question," a duet with Patty Loveless, should also break onto the country charts. This well crafted ballad is eerily reminiscent of her smash hit "You Don't Even Know Who I Am" which delves into how well we know our significant other. Then the road takes more twists and turns with songs like "No More" and "Between." In these songs he gets political and takes on modern day issues like the war in Iraq and the environment, in a way that only Bob Seger could straight and to the point!
All in all, this is one of the best albums I have heard from any rocker in ages. It is well produced and plays to his strong suits of well crafted lyrics, gravelly vocals and powerful guitars. And while his age shows through on some songs and his voice doesn't quite go where it used to, they let it be that way and didn't over-produce, polish and enhance his vocals to the point of losing the emotions they convey. It took a long time and a lot of miles for Bob Seger to get where he is today, and many of us have taken the journey with him. This album shows everyone that it was a trip worth taking, with a man who leads the pack, both on his Harley on some Michigan highway and in the hierarchy of rock legends.
Overall grade a solid B