"Warpaint" by The Black Crowes (2008)
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One of the worlds best live acts returns to the studio.
Its been seven years since we last heard the Robinson brothers together, a.k.a. The Black Crowes and as you might recall their last album (Lions) wasn't too good and that's putting it kindly. Since their self-imposed (and much needed) indefinite hiatus, lead singer Chris has made two passable solo records and lead guitarist Rich has kept busy between session work for the likes of Patti Smith and production work for Gary Louris' overlooked 2008 album Vagabonds. Refreshed and reinvigorated, the brothers have decided to give it another go with Warpaint being their grand return and may I say it's a pretty good one. It also helps to have North Mississippi All-Stars guitarist Luther Dickinson as your new second guitarist and secret weapon.
If you've heard one Black Crowes record you've really heard them all, but this one in these times we're living in really is a breath of fresh air. It's strange when a band like the Crowes can take such common influences like The Rolling Stones, Faces and Humble Pie and make something sound like nothing else out there in music today. It really shouldn't be a surprise that the Robinson's are doing it yet again. Back when they started in 1990 no one sounded like them during the Grunge-Rock days and now no one sounds like them still with bands such as Nickelback and the likes dominating Rock radio today. Album opener "Goodbye Daughters of the Revolution" is a fun sing-a-long Southern-Rock tune "Walk Believer Walk" is a great Electric-Blues stomp. Speaking of the Blues, the Crowes' do a bitchin' cover of the Reverend Charlie Jackson's "God's Got It" here that'll blow your socks off.
Ironically though for me on Warpaint, it's the mellower tracks have kept me coming back for more listens. The breezy "Oh Josephine" is a simple delight and the mandolin lead on "Locust Street" is pure saccharine to the ears. May I say, it's an absolute delight to have The Black Crowes back in the mix again and here's hoping they can curb their long standing sibling rivalry enough to make a few more great records.
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