The words “you put me to sleep” are rarely laudatory. But Jeff Bridges will take it. The 66-year-old The Big Lebowski and Crazy Heart actor actually wants to tuck you in and give you the best night’s sleep with his own voice.
Sleeping Tapes is an album of field recordings, lullaby music and guided meditation that promises to send the listener into a lull without any qualms. To test the effectiveness of this one, we pour ourselves a cup of lavender tea and press play on track one.
Our first thoughts? Jeff Bridges is the Morgan Freeman of sleep. Or a younger Santa who poses rhetorical questions like, “Stop and look up at that cloudless sky. It’s very clear you’re having a wonderful time, aren’t you?” He’s there all along, even when we hear sounds of waves from afar, followed by chimes and the rustling of crisp, autumn leaves.
And the bizarreness doesn’t stop there, as some of the tracks feature conversations that Bridges is having with his wife, Susan. In Goodmorning, Sweetheart, he’s having a nonchalant chat with her as she prepares his breakfast.
Meanwhile in The Raven, there’s a furious thunderstorm in the distance, over which Bridges narrates a repurposed Edgar Allan Poe poem. The Sea, in particular, makes us realise just how successful sleep sounds really are, since, as weird as this all may sound, we actually find ourselves delightfully groggy.
While each track averages around three minutes, our favourite is the 11-minute hiking tour of Temescal Canyon. The man’s huffing and puffing is mixed with the ripples of a stream. “Look, there’s another hiker. He’s wearing a white T-shirt and glasses. I think his name is Cameron… or maybe Neil. HELLO NEIL,” sounds the voice of Bridges.
This intriguing journey sends us into a dream-like state, which no other sleep tape has been able to do. There’s something about Bridges’ deep voice and colourful anecdotes… you may want to slip into your pyjamas soon, because this vanity project is a real snoozefest. In the best possible way.
Free. Sleeping Tapes by Jeff Bridges is available at www.dreamingwithjeff.com.
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