Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Album Review: Rich Robinson- The Ceaseless Sight

Rich Robinson
The Ceaseless Sight
*** out of *****
The solo Black Crowe teamed up a few friends (some new, some old) for this individual release, his 3rd such effort.  Solo disks from establish artists can be a tricky thing, sometimes people take on alter egos to slip into something totally different marking a 180 degree turn from their bread and butter or sometimes the artist just wants to put out more music then fellow band members are ready for. The Ceaseless Sight falls squarely into the second category; it is hard to hear these songs and not think, what would this sound like as a Black Crowes record?  

Roots rock with a flourish of the blues, folk and soul appear on all the songs as Rich takes center stage. Robinson has become much more confident in his singing/lyrics and that is evident throughout, however their are times where he still pushes the music towards the forefront and lowers the vocals. Opener "I Know You" is a stuttering blues jaunt in the vein of The Rolling Stones or  The Band with various sections that don't always flow so smoothly into each other while "I Remember" does things more direct and successfully. 

The album was written with drummer Joe Magistro who Robinson has worked with before but it is the newcomers who inject some of the disk highlights. Keyboardist Marco Benevento is a joy to listen to as he shines throughout but particularly during the piano break on "One Road Hill". Amy Helm also adds beautiful harmonies to "The Giving Key" while Robinson's own six strings take over for the Allman Brother influenced "In Comes The Night".   

The Black Crowes seem to go on hiatus every other year and the brothers Robinson have been notorious for their blow ups and internal band politics. While The Ceaseless Sight is a solid release it is hard to not wonder how brother Chris would attack a song like "The Unfortunate Show", with its strutting Stones-like vibe, or the funky "Inside". Even without the rest of the team Robinson has crafted a disk Crowe fans will enjoy because it is basically a Black Crowes disk minus a few parts. 
Support the artist here, you can stream the album for a limited time at Rolling Stone here, buy the album here, and peep some video below:

1 comment:

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