Face the Promise
By David Chiu
Bob Seger may be renowned as an arena rocker proud of his Michigan roots, but he is arguably one of the greatest songwriters around. His hard-bitten, philosophical bittersweet tunes of loss and regret resonates, while his ballads speak of redemption and hope. Whose life story hasn’t been told in a Bob Seger song? That has always been the themes of his songs and albums in his nearly 40-year career, and it hasn’t changed with Face the Promise, his first new album of original material in 11 years. Brighter-sounding and reflective than previous efforts, and with a hint of country (the album was recorded in Nashville), Face the Promise shows Seger hasn’t lost his gritty and soulful voice or touch from that long hiatus. There are some of those punchy rockers such as his redneck duet with fellow Michiganite Kid Rock on Vince Gill’s “Real Mean Bottle” and the head-bobbing “Wreck this Heart”; and some gorgeous ballads like “Wait for Me” and wisdom-waltz of “The Answer’s in the Question,” a duet with Patty Loveless. The bluesy slow burner “Won’t Stop” recalls the mood and tempo of one of his earlier songs “Turn the Page.” “No Matter Who You Are” is one of the songs to be played on the car radio way loud. Face the Promise shows that time isn’t catching up with Bob Seger; he’ll still be running against the wind.