The Judds

Love Can Build a Bridge

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The last Judds album may not be their strongest but nonetheless featured some killer tracks and is by no means unsuccessful when taken as a whole. There is plenty of merit here. With an opening track like "Born to Be Blue" that begins as an old swinging blues tune à la the 1930s and moves into a hot fusion of country and R&B, the album is off to a good start. There are a handful of Naomi Judd co-writes that feature everything from roots and progressive country to strutting, punchy rock & roll to heartbreaking ballads. The remake of Lawrence Hammond's "John Deere Tractor" may not have be the best move to make, but then, it's not bad either. "Calling in the Wind" sounds like Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the USA" at the beginning, but Wynonna dispels any of that quickly in the verse. "Rompin' Stompin' Bad News Blues" is a ferocious blues rocker with acoustic guitars roiling under the voice of Wynonna, who sings as loud as she growls, and guest star Bonnie Raitt's greasy electric slide doesn't hurt either. Ultimately, Love Can Build a Bridge is a fine sendoff for one of the most successful and revolutionary bands in country history. There is much pleasure here, and it is all in the way two voices weave, Wynonna's command of her instrument, and Brent Maher's production that accents all the strengths and leaves just enough weakness in the mix to make the band human.

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