A Thousand Horses' new Bridges album is a more mainstream, radio-ready project than their debut album Southernality. The sound and focus are tighter for the "Smoke" hitmakers.

But their signature sound isn't sanded away by the effort. The single, "Preachin' to the Choir," and "One Man Army" are two easy-to-digest country-rock songs that speak to the majority in an accent that's unique. Singer Michael Hobby proves he's a sturdy Southern vocalist across the breadth of this project. He's really much better than he'll ever get credit for.

The title track is another that spotlights their talented backing vocalist. Really Kristen Rogers is more comparable to Merry Clayton, the famous second voice on the Rolling Stones' "Gimme Shelter" recording. She's what the band does differently than any other act in country music and the quartet are right to use her talents sparingly. Her gospel tones carry over into ever other song, adding unmistakable depth to a project that's light on content (just seven new songs, plus six re-recorded live).

Key Tracks: "Preachin' to the Choir," "Bridges"

Did You Know?: Six of the seven live cuts were recorded in the famed Metropolis Studios in London in front of a small audience.

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