Crowes - By Your Side
The Black Crowes
By Your Side
The Black Crowes' new CD By Your Side
is a return to the stripped-down, back to basics rock songwriting that
made them so popular nearly a decade ago. This album doesn't break new
ground musically like their other follow-ups to the wildly successful Shake
Your Moneymaker did, but it doesn't try to. The result is a brighter, more
enjoyable disc. There have been a couple of personnel changes this time
around, but everything that makes the Crowes' music so charismatic to listen
to is as present as ever. They still blend rock with soul and R&B in
a superb fashion.
There really isn't a weak track on this
album, but unfortunately, few of the tracks really blow me away. It starts
with the up-tempo "Go Faster"
and leads into their first single, "Kickin'
My Heart Around." This song is decent, but it doesn't have much appeal
for a single. It just sounds a little bland, as is the next song, the title
cut "By Your Side." In fact, the CD doesn't really pick up into anything
exceptional until "Heavy," the sixth cut of the album. After "Heavy" is
the unique "Welcome to the Goodtimes," which has an unusual mix of Christmas
sleigh-bell percussion and marching band-like horns. It's a very cool track,
as is the next song, "Go Tell the Congregation." You can sense the James
Brown soul influence here. After "Congregation" is "Diamond Ring," my favorite
cut on the album. It's sounds a little like an Al Green tune, or maybe
like an old Prince song. By Your Side concludes with the Zeppelin
inspired "Virtue And Vice," another personal favorite and a sure-to-be-classic
Black Crowes song.
The Black Crowes are a great band, but
they still can't seem to live up to their potential. Or maybe people are
just expecting too much out of them. By Your Side is a good disc, and if
you like the Crowes, picking up this new album is a no-brainer. Although
it isn't as impressive as their first two or three discs, it's still a
solid collection of songs that is fun and uplifting to listen to.