The Black Crowes – The Southern Harmony And Musical Companion (1992): Review

black

Produced by George Drakoulias
Label – American Recordings

When the Atlanta quintet broke through with “Shake Your Money Maker” in 1990, they were heralded as the most “Rock ‘n Roll” Rock band in the world. The apt handle they acquired was truly deserved by the fact that they released a back to basics style Blues Rock album to compete against the new Grunge sound that was coming out of Seattle and spreading fast. They didn’t read the Grunge script, didn’t cut their hair, and played to their strengths. “Shake Your Money Maker” stayed in the U.S charts for 18 months and The Black Crowes had defied the trends and assured their place in music history.

“The Southern Harmony And Musical Companion” is a looser affair. The confidence bred by success leads the band to further explore their Faces/Stones sound, and in turn there’s greater freedom of expression, longer songs, more jams, and a more soulful emphasis. Debut guitarist Marc Ford is given license to musically stretch the sound with funky riffs and detailed solo’s and the addition of keyboards and female backing vocals richly adds to the mix. Chris Robinsons’ vocals howl and snarl through a fine set of songs, particularly “Sting Me”, “Remedy”, “Thorn In My Pride”, and “My Morning Song”. Some fans argue that this is The Black Crowes greatest work. Personally I prefer the concise immediacy of “Shake Your Money Maker”, but they’re both solid albums, wholly derivative, but then who cares ?

It would be easy to ridicule The Black Crowes as hitchers riding on the back of early 70’s Blues Rock jams, if it weren’t for the unavoidable power of their songs. On “The Southern Harmony And Musical Companion”, they make their point with style and dignity.

7/10

Track Listing
“Sting Me” – 4:39
“Remedy” – 5:22
“Thorn in My Pride” – 6:03
“Bad Luck Blue Eyes Goodbye” – 6:28
“Sometimes Salvation” – 4:44
“Hotel Illness” – 3:59
“Black Moon Creeping” – 4:54
“No Speak No Slave” – 4:01
“My Morning Song” – 6:15
“Time Will Tell” – 4:08

The Black Crowes – Shake Your Money Maker (1990): Review

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2 responses to “The Black Crowes – The Southern Harmony And Musical Companion (1992): Review

  1. Yeah. I never really got past Hard to handle. Great track. I was just into totally different music at the time. They’re no more derivative than Ocean Colour Scene or Black Keys and I like both those bands.

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