Posted by RoyHobbes (126.96.36.199) on August 25, 2018 at 21:23:34:
In Reply to: High Water I out today.. post your reviews here posted by B-Ville Crowe on August 10, 2018 at 09:43:56:
Many many listens during my recent travels, but this is the first time I've had the opportunity to put some thoughts down.
All of the songs are good. Some of them are extremely good. It's hard not to hear TBC in the guitar & rhythm work, but I think the production sounds more modern than any TBC record I remember, and that the singer's presence and power as an artist take the Former Crowes Bros in a different direction than where they've gone in the past. In other words, I think John Hogg is great - a strong, thoughtful, emotional foil to the shit-hot band he finds himself fronting.
The rockers on the front end of the album are nice. "Mary The Gypsy" is a little difficult to understand, but it's hard to deny the tightness of the riff, Hogg's energy, or Ford's fiery leads. "High Water" pairs an awesome Nick Drake-y riff with a pulsing rhythm, and more great leads. "Send Me An Omen" is laser-focused and probably the most Crowesy track of the bunch, and "For the Wind" rolls out some prog-Zep with maturity, anchored by some vintage RR riffery and a great hook. "Sister Moon" is a great departure - a nice collaboration between Marc & John. Nice Floyd tones.
All of that is great, but to me, the revelations are on the second half of the album, which succeeds on territory where the band and/or various members have failed miserably in the past. "Colorblind" could easily have turned into an awkward tome like CR's convoluted "Piece of Wind" (from This Magnificent Distance - and trust me, you don't need to revisit this one). Instead, this track soars on the strength of Hogg's testimonial & emotional lyrics. "Take It All" successfully throws rhythmic expectations into the air with great results -- great riff by Marc that I would have sworn was written by Rich if not for the song credits. "Walk On Water" is a nice Petty-esque vehicle.
As the songs get quieter, and the album progresses, the band hits the bullseye harder. "Hand in Hand" is stunning -- great blues by MF and a stellar Ronnie Lane channeling by Hogg. "You Found Me" finally sees a Crowes-related band succeeding west-coast-country-rock in the tradition of the Flying Burrito Brothers. And the album's final track, "Open Up", hits more ethereal Floyd tones with a great, huge-sounding closing track.
I skipped over what is probably my favorite track on the record - "Can You See". The riff & hook is outstanding, but the topical lyrics and the way Rich delivers them are flat-out perfect, straight from the schools of Bob Dylan and Lowell George. "It's all in a system / designed to make you look away / step back from what you know / and believe only in what they say..." Has anybody in Rock & Roll written a song about our current dystopia that is more on point than this? I don't know of anything even close.
I love this album, I love that this band got together to move things forward, and I love that they have another album in the can. I very impressed, and moderately shocked. I expected a solid effort - I did not expect something that continued to grow on me the way this has. Already looking forward to HWII.
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