Thursday, October 8, 2015

Album Review: Keith Richards- Crosseyed Heart

Keith Richards
Crosseyed Heart
**and 1/2 out of *****

The opening song on Keith Richards first solo album in 25 years is the title track called "Cross Eyed Heart". It is a stripped down acoustic blues numbers that sounds half finished and tossed off, crumbling mid song while also being the best track on the disk. This open rawness is a breath of fresh air and thoughts of a personal blues disk from the Rolling Stone guitarist is enticing, but that vibe stops at the next track.

"Heartstopper" is more representative of the rest of the album, a boiled down, derivative, rock and roll disk in the same vein of his day job studio releases for the last, oh 30 years. Not much more should be expected from Richards at this stage of the game and he delivers what you would think, touching on blues, rock, reggae and ballads. 

Vocally the rocker sounds his years, and this is a positive. At times he goes almost full Tom Waits, and other offerings find him moving towards Dylan like passages, but at the center it if most certainly Keef. His well lived in skin gets soft for the pedal steel flourished "Robbed Blind" and he muscles up to get grooving for "Blues in the Morning" where X-pensive Wino drummer Steve Jordan, who co-wrote the album picks up the pace, blistering for some good old fashion R&R.  

His duet with Norah Jones, "Illusion" is a dull and what is perhaps most interesting from a man who has penned dozens of instantly catchy numbers is that none of the originals really stick with you at all. The disk highlight comes when Richards gets his beach bum on for the light reggae cover of Gregory Isaacs "Love Overdue" that manages to do the original justice and expand upon it with horns, heartfelt relaxed vocals, deep bass line and well placed piano break.  

At 15 songs, most over 4 and a half minutes the album does go on for a while, but if anyone in rock and roll has earned the right to be self indulgent it is Keith Richards. He is the epitome of the genre and it is just fine to have a new solo album to add to his back catalog.
Support the artist here, buy the album here and peep some video below:

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