Moody, heartfelt and outstanding. Three words that quite nicely sum up the vibe running through Rich Robinson’s latest solo album, Flux. The Black Crowes founder member and guitarist has more than enough capability to pack so much into the thirteen original songs, broaching a broad spectrum of genres. This is testament not only to his own self-belief, but also to the fact that his skills are many fold.
The Upstairs Land, for instance. A gentle, laid back, rock infused opener with a solid bass and percussion underscore supplied by Zak Gabbard and Joe Magistro respectively and which adds as many layers as your average Viennetta ice cream. Then consider that all of this – and Robinson’s cool infused vocals and guitar work – is cherry topped by some delightful keys supplied by Marco Benevento and Matt Slocum. As openers go, it is difficult to beat and as a precursor as to what’s to follow it is hard to top.
Then just as you think things are headed for the upbeat right the way through, along comes arguably the highlight of the album in Life. Not so much a song but more a near five minute long invocation of what it is to be alive, with all the emotion that holding your newborn for the first time evokes and all the hypnotic feeling of a chilled beer on hot day following a long walk. Think John Mills in Ice Cold in Alex, then play this right afterwards and you’ll see what I mean.
And just when you think you have Flux’s measure, along comes the out-and-out Gospel joy rippling through Everything Is Alright and the intense produc
This is a thing of rich scale and even richer vitality, with each track cutting through the fog of the ordinary to leave only appreciation in its wake.
Indeed, such is the accomplishment on some of the tracks – Time to Leave, for instance – that you could easily be forgiven for believing that somebody has mistakenly slipped a Tom Petty album into the player without your noticing. Yes, it really is that cool, that unfussy and that good.
The tightness of the melodies, the deliciousness of the lyrics and exquisiteness of the complete package combines to not only make each of the thirteen tracks stand strong alone, but also collide into one magisterial musical journey through pastures both familiar and first visited that will leave you wanting more the moment the first spin has been completed.
- The Upstairs Land
- Music That Will Lift Me
- Everything’s Alright
- Eclipse The Night
- Ides Of Nowhere
- Time To Leave
- For To Give
- Which Way Your Wind Blows
Label: Eagle Records
Release date, 24 June, 2016