A bridge album
is an album that, appropriately, bridges the gap
between the early sound
of an artist's career
and the later
sound. They are frequently the strongest efforts of an artist's day
, as they tend to include the best of the artist's two sonic
Examples that come to mind are Hüsker Dü's "New Day Rising" and The Replacements' "Let It Be". "New Day Rising" bridged the Hüskers' early "Zen Arcade"-harcore punk sounds (eg "Watcha Drinkin?", "Plans I Make", and the brilliant title track) and their later, cleaner, more-or-less straight rock "Candy Apple Grey"-esque sounds (eg "Books About UFO's", "Perfect Example").
The Mats' "Let It Be" was bridged their early "Sorry Ma"-era thrashy-but-lovely punk rock sounds ("We're Coming Out", "Favorite Thing") with their later proto-alternative sounds ("I Will Dare", "Answering Machine") and "Here Comes A Regular"-like somber pop ballads ("Unsatisfied", "Androgynous").