Thursday, 21 April 2011

Random Review #48 The Black Crowes - Three Snakes And One Charm

C2S4CD6 picked by @aldowankenobi DJ, font of all musical knowledge, friend to the stars, and the glue that keeps the Twitter phenomenon that is #masterpieces going.

This is my 48th pick, 16 weeks reviewing 3 CD’s a week either randomly picked by me or others and this is the first artist to be picked twice. The Black Crowes have already been picked albeit the last pick was a live album with Jimmy Page concentrating the songs of Led Zeppelin rather than the work of The Black Crowes.

I love the album cover to this release the centre from a 45 record being morphed into a snakes heads is simple but effective and this album has a feel for that the whole way through the album, the CD packaging is 2 sides long naming the tracks, the players, and not much else and colours are not much more than monochrome. The music reflects this style as well and simple but effective and this is when The Black Crowes are at their best.

I have 14 Black Crowes CD’s and one by the Robinson Brothers (Brothers Of A Feather) and I have to be honest I was surprised by this for a couple of reasons;

  • I didn’t think they have released so much material (I think I’m missing one release a live version of the Warpaint album)
  • That I have amassed so much of their work as I would have said I was no more than a casual fan.

The Black Crowes for those that don’t know a real retro rock act, they do what has been done for years, playing solid rock songs with a melodic edge played well, throw in the odd ballad and celebrity girl friend and you have a blueprint that has been used since the 70’s and still seems to be popular today. This style of music is replicated all around the world only the image changes depending on where you are, The Stereophonics, Jet, Dirty Sweet, The Trews, all plough the same furrow and whether the hair is short or long or the jeans are skinny or flared the formula is the same and for me it works.

This has all the trappings of everything I have mentioned, hard rockers, Nebakanezer, Blackberry, ballads, Better When You’re Not Alone, and acoustic lighter numbers, How Much For Your Wings. Throw in some harmonica, a brass section (the awesome Dirty Dozen Brass Band guest) and you have the formula for a good rock album. The Black Crowes sometimes move away from this (the awful Lions springs to mind) and lose their way when they do this, but this is classic Black Crowes, and although it does match the urgency of their amazing debut Shake Your Money Maker not much ever will.

If you are new to The Black Crowes Shake You Money Maker, The Southern Harmony And Musical Companion or their Greatest Hits 1990-1999 would be a better place to start but this isn’t a bad album just not maybe their best,

Mark 7/10

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