The soundtrack to Toby Keith's feature film debut Broken Bridges is a rather understated affair, particularly in comparison to the robust, rowdy White Trash with Money, released earlier in 2006. If White Trash found Keith taking some risks, Broken Bridges finds him playing it straight, whether he's singing sentimental tunes or kicking up some dirt on a handful of rockers. Those loose, fun rockers arrive at the end of the soundtrack to Broken Bridges, almost as an award for fans who have put up with the eminently tasteful folky country and gospel that comprises the rest of the record, and by the time they do arrive they are a relief; things have gotten so earnest that some party anthems, like "Play by All the Rules, Miss All the Fun," are sorely needed. That said, there's a certain understated charm to the earnestness of the rest of Broken Bridges and the fact that Keith has brought in such understated songwriters as Fred Eaglesmith and Matraca Berg for his big-screen debut illustrates that he's a more complicated figure than some may initially think. But even if it's in good taste, Broken Bridges is frequently pleasant but rather dull despite such lighter moments as Scotty Emerick's "What's Up with That"; its heart is in the right place, but it's rather forgettable.
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine