Wednesday, May 28, 2008

CD Review: "Warpaint" - The Black Crowes

I have never bought a Black Crowes album. Actually, I have always respected their southern jam-band aesthetic (plus the fact that singer Chris Robinson scored himself some sweet Kate Hudson action for seven years before their recent divorce), but it always seemed like they were trying too hard to be rootsy. Their latest release, "Warpaint," however, is a great "comeback" album from a band that had not released new material in seven years. The vocals and guitar are still handled quite adeptly by perpetually feuding brothers Chris and Rich Robinson. With the exception of drummer Steve Gorman, the rest of the band has totally turned over. But in my opinion it's the addition of slide guitar player Luther Dickinson of The North Mississippi All-Stars that takes this album from the realm of the "good" to the realm of the "excellent." The sound evokes The Allman Brothers as well as the more country Rolling Stones stuff, and other "southern-fried" rock bands. On this album, nothing seems forced, and the music is unmistakably genuine and solid. The career arc of The Black Crowes is once again on an upward trend, thanks to this very good collection of songs (can I still call it an album?). If you are so inclined, pick it up - you won't be disappointed.

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