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Blues Traveler
SonicNet.com, National
May 8th, 2001

1999 proved to be a tumultuous year for Blues Traveler's frontman John Popper. Following the release of his solo debut Zygote, the hefty singer underwent an angioplasty followed by the sudden death of close friend and Blues Traveler founding member/bassist Bobby Sheehan. Popper, guitarist Chan Kinchla and drummer Brendan Hill rallied together a new line-up featuring keyboardist Ben Wilson and Kinchla's younger brother Tad on bass for Bridge. The results find one of the pre-eminent post-hippie jam bands fleshing out their funkier side considerably more than on previous releases.

Wilson and Popper prove to be worthy foils as the former's fleet-fingered solos are on equal footing with the latter's blistering harmonica playing on the infectious pop of "Girl Inside My Mind" and the equally hook-laden songcraft of "The Way". This synergy also holds true on more subdued numbers like the simmering menace of "Rage" and the loping metaphysical headtrip "Decision Of The Skies." By far the most poignant moment on Bridge comes via the delicate remembrance "Pretty Angry," an open letter of mixed emotions to the departed Sheehan that will strike a note with anyone who has been affected by the unexpected death of a loved one.