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Author: Subject: Black Crowes "Warpaint" Rolling Stone Review

Sublime Peach





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  posted on 2/24/2008 at 09:58 PM

Warpaint is the first studio album from the Black Crowes in seven years — not that you can really tell. The Crowes still bang out that old-school boogie that might be three or four decades old if it wasn't brand-new. All the obvious ingredients that fueled their 1990 debut, Shake Your Money Maker, are still in place, from singer Chris Robinson's Jagger swagger to the band's Faces-style barroom juking. Even Robinson's battles with his brother/guitar player Rich, apparently dormant for now, have always come straight from the Kinks' playbook. If the Crowes are derivative, they wear that tag with pride; it's exactly what their fans love about them.
At their best, though —when they look back beyond their classic-rock forebears and draw from the same well of American roots music that inspired all those Brits in the Sixties —the Crowes aren't so easy to pigeonhole. Given their Southern heritage, the Robinsons and Co. have a more organic affinity for some of the styles — country, gospel —that a band like the Stones always dressed up with a touch of irony. On Warpaint, the driving force is the blues. The loose-limbed jangle of defining Crowes hits like "Jealous Again" shows up in the first single, "Goodbye Daughters of the Revolution," but not too often after that. These eleven songs largely come from a place that's darker and more hard-fought. The mood runs through the fire-and-brimstone of "Walk Believer Walk" and the dead-end setting of "Locust Street."

Throughout the album, Robinson tells tales of loss and regret. "For a while, I was dealing in tears and powders/For a spell, I was strung out beyond my means," he sings in "Oh Josephine," while in the spacey, East-meets-South closer, "Whoa Mule," he adds, "It won't take long to sing you my song/Full of trouble and despair." (These may not be diary entries, but his split from Kate Hudson clearly took a toll on the dude.) Yet Robinson counters each lament with a reminder that his life was saved by rock & roll —and he's not afraid to use the language of the pulpit. Most literal is a jackhammer stomp through the Rev. Charlie Jackson's "God's Got It," but elsewhere he sings of "redemption" and "grace," and calls out to "join the jubilee." It's a faith that's more familiar coming from younger musicians, but as the Crowes close in on the twenty-year mark, they now act like survivors, battle-scarred believers.

It's pretty ambitious stuff for a crew often dismissed as a bunch of throwback stoners; if only the writing met the challenge more consistently. Warpaint starts off strong —the first third of the album reveals some of the best range and craft of the band's career — but songs like "We Who See the Deep" are just too unfocused to be memorable. "Evergreen" is a sweetly propulsive love song, but can't Robinson do better than "Come make love in the sunshine/Come let's share our pain"?

Most of the rough patches, though, are forgivable, because the band sounds damn good. The Crowes may have gone through so many lineup changes that their Wikipedia page has a color-coded chronological chart, but they wound up with a winning hand. The key addition is Luther Dickinson of the North Mississippi Allstars, whose slashing slide work contributes tension and intricacy all over the album. Together with new keyboard player Adam MacDougall, Dickinson and Rich Robinson give some of the songs a feel close to those of the Allman Brothers or Derek and the Dominos. Though most of Warpaint is fairly concise — only one song exceeds the six-minute mark — the most exciting moments come when these musicians take to the hills on the extended codas of "Oh Josephine" or "Movin' on Down the Line."

The Black Crowes have fallen out, broken up and been written off as washed-up. Hell, these guys did their Behind the Music almost ten years ago, and Rich Robinson isn't even forty yet. They've now been around as long as some of their own idols were when the Robinsons first started. But with Warpaint, for the first time in a long time, the Black Crowes seem like a band with a future.

 

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Extreme Peach



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  posted on 2/25/2008 at 01:36 PM
Wow. That's a surprisngly good review from Rolilng Stone.
 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 2/25/2008 at 02:01 PM
I've heard a few cuts and I wasn't such a rabid fan, but what I've heard is very good.

 

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Sublime Peach



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  posted on 2/26/2008 at 07:20 AM
quote:
Wow. That's a surprisngly good review from Rolilng Stone.


Yeah that is true. Usually they only hand out 4-5 star reviews to Neil Young,U2,Bob Dylan, and Radiohead. They could probably fart all throughout the cd and still get a great review.

 

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  posted on 2/26/2008 at 08:21 AM
man I can't wait to hear this album.

FYI there is a pretty big party in Milwaukee at the summerfest grounds one weekend in August to celebrate the ?? aniiversary of Harley Davidson and the Black Crowes are one of the bands playing. Buddy Guy will be there as well. That should be fun!


Also I am in desperate need of one or two chicago Black Crowes tickets. I have extra WSP chicago tickets or cash if you can help me out. PLEASE!!!

 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 2/26/2008 at 08:50 AM
You know, I always thought these guys "Had the goods".. If they can work out the family squabble thing and just let the music they have all bottled up inside.... out. I believe they can make a big noise on the touring circuit again. Go back and listen to their first CD. Hard driving rock>>>Graceful ballad. Listen to gueast Chuck Leavell play on the acoustic cut of "She talks to Angels"... F'ng amazing.

 

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Peach Pro



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  posted on 2/26/2008 at 09:37 AM
I would urge you guys and gals to let Maxim magazine know what pieces of crap they truly are. They were caught with their frikkin pants down as their so called music critic did a bad review on this latest CD without even listening to it!

Talk about biased pieces of crap! They did the review before any copies were released as they gave it 2 out of 5 stars and when the Black Crowes manager called them on it they had to admit that they had not even listened to it and it was a best guess scenario!

I know I canceled my subscription to Maxim immediately!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EqtRib05rjU

[Edited on 2/26/2008 by Flora_Bama_BUC]

 

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Sublime Peach



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  posted on 2/26/2008 at 10:06 AM
quote:
You know, I always thought these guys "Had the goods".. If they can work out the family squabble thing and just let the music they have all bottled up inside.... out. I believe they can make a big noise on the touring circuit again. Go back and listen to their first CD. Hard driving rock>>>Graceful ballad. Listen to gueast Chuck Leavell play on the acoustic cut of "She talks to Angels"... F'ng amazing.


I agree.... they do have the goods. They have a loyal fan base who always turn out to they're shows. The days of their first CD are long gone...so I don't think they will be making to many new fans or get alot of radio airplay like they use. They alwyas put out solid stuff IMHO. I like all of there releases, not really a bad one inmy book.

It will be interesting to see how this pans out with Luther. I hope it does and allso I hope there wont be any "family " or other issues that caused other band members to leave or be ousted by the bros.

 

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  posted on 2/26/2008 at 02:01 PM
Maxim apologizes for Black Crowes review



NEW YORK - Maxim magazine has apologized for publishing a negative review of the Black Crowes' new album by a writer who hadn't listened to the whole CD.
The review in Maxim's March issue gives the Crowes' "Warpaint" a rating of two-and-a-half stars out of five. The band posted an exasperated statement on its Web site last week saying the Maxim writer hadn't heard the entire album because advance copies weren't available. The Crowes' manager, Pete Angelus, said the magazine explained that its review was an "educated guess."

Maxim editorial director James Kaminsky responded Tuesday with this statement: "It is Maxim's editorial policy to assign star ratings only to those albums that have been heard in their entirety. Unfortunately, that policy was not followed in the March 2008 issue of our magazine and we apologize to our readers."

A spokeswoman for the magazine contacted by The Associated Press declined to say whether the writer would face disciplinary action.

"Warpaint," the Black Crowes' first album in seven years, is set for release March 4. The blues-rock group, fronted by Chris Robinson, has released only one song from the disc, "Goodbye Daughters of the Revolution."

The band's hits include "Hard to Handle" and "She Talks to Angels."

 

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Peach Head



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  posted on 2/26/2008 at 05:34 PM
30 second clips to almost the entire album are streaming on their website. It sounds pretty good.

http://www.blackcrowes.com/

 

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Peach Extraordinaire



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  posted on 2/27/2008 at 12:40 AM
i'm so excited for this album. less than a week to go
 

Extreme Peach



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  posted on 2/27/2008 at 01:38 AM
Ok, this is bugging me. Didn't we just go through this with Maxim? Didn't the bands management say that advanced copies were NOT made available? The CD doesn't come out 'til next week, so how did Rolling Stone do a review? Is it accecptable to give a review of a CD you have not heard, as long as it's a good review?

What am I missing here?


btw: I own and love everything the Crowes have put out (side projects included) and more than a hundred live shows, I have no doubt that Warpaint will not dissapoint!

Peace 'n' love on ya! (Crowes at Bonnaroo, anybody?)

 

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Peach Master



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  posted on 2/27/2008 at 02:16 AM
I am not 100% positive, but I believe that advance copies were made available by the time the Rolling Stones review took place. Maxim took it upon themselves to go ahead a print their review without every receiving an advance copy.

If you read the Rolling Stones review, they quote song lyrics throughout the entire review with references to the songs sung and the playing order. Seems like they've heard the record.

The Black Crowes F'n rock. Outside of the ABB and related bands the best thing going, imho. Caught their show at Mud Island and Louisville Palace this past October with Paul Stacey on guitar (from NEM) and both shows were great. Very different without Marc or Eddie, but awesome to watch up close, breaking down songs into a little more raw, unpolished arrangement without the years of experience from all members on stage. Kind of like hearing the Brothers play Whipping Post in 2000 or 2001 when the band wasn't road test and battle ready. Players had to go with instincts and play from the gut instead of playing from a more comfortable place. Advantages to both, obviously, and the more a band/group of musicians plays together the 'better' they become. But there is something to be said for the straight from the hip, knock down, drag 'em out kick ass rock and roll music these guys can create.

Sorry for the ramblin'. Can't wait to catch these guys on tour with Luther. The man stole the NYE show this year at the Fox. And I'm the biggest DTB/Derek Trucks fan on earth!

Peace

 

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  posted on 2/27/2008 at 06:17 AM
quote:
Ok, this is bugging me. Didn't we just go through this with Maxim? Didn't the bands management say that advanced copies were NOT made available? The CD doesn't come out 'til next week, so how did Rolling Stone do a review? Is it accecptable to give a review of a CD you have not heard, as long as it's a good review?

What am I missing here?


btw: I own and love everything the Crowes have put out (side projects included) and more than a hundred live shows, I have no doubt that Warpaint will not dissapoint!

Peace 'n' love on ya! (Crowes at Bonnaroo, anybody?)


my friend works at a music store and they get the shipments a week in advance. he said the previewed the new album yesterday before the store opened. i'm sure rolling stone got a copy within the last 6 days unlike maxim

 

Peach Head



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  posted on 2/27/2008 at 07:00 AM
Rolling Stone actually interviewed them at the studio, so I'm pretty sure that's where they heard the album. They may not have been given a copy, but the album was played for them.

 

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