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CD Reviews:  Black Crowes: Lions

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The stutter-step, nearly repeating intro to the opening track "Midnight From The Inside Out" speaks volumes for what we can expect from the latest Black Crowes release, Lions. It would appear as though, only a few seconds into this disc, Chris Robinson and company had second thoughts, contemplated stopping, then cranked back up and forged onward through one of their more mediocre projects to date. Admirably, they do manage to salvage a good song in the opener, as "Midnight..." powers along like a grinding rock and roll freight train that is just firing its engine.

The radio single, "Lickin'," follows with just enough jumped up chorus line to keep us tapping the steering wheel. Rich Robinson's wonderful guitars are layered here in a predictable but enjoyable fashion, and they give way to the signature Black Crowes jangle that we've come to know and love. In fact, the tiresome yawns won't set in until track four, as "Come On" rounds out the very solid opening three cuts by displaying the kind of brawny, classic 1970s rock strength that has amassed the Crowes a decade's worth of radio hits. 

Lost among clever veteran musicianship here is a string of boring session songs, none of which would have made the cut on their earlier masterpieces (like 1992's The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion). To the loyal Black Crowes fan, Lions will provide just enough musical value to survive until their next studio release. "Soul Singing" is as delicious a sing-along anthem as anything they've written, but it shines as a diamond within an otherwise rough record. 

~Red Rocker

Other Black Crowes reviews:
Live (2002)
Southern Harmony and Musical Companion (1992) : Feedback - Link to Us  - About B-E - FAQ - Advertise with Us

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