I had a few coupons for Best Buy that we're about to expire so I set off to see what I could use them with. After walking through the various departments I decided to check through the music section. As you may or may not know, in the last few years, Best Buy has shrunk their music section considerably. Their reasons were due to the huge shift from physical to digital sales in recent years. From a business standpoint it makes sense. My hopes of finding anything worthy that I didn't already have we're slim. I stumbled upon an end cap that had a bunch of new releases. Mixed in was the latest release by Chris Robinson Brotherhood.
I know who Chris Robinson is. He's the vocalist in The Black Crowes. I was never a huge fan of the band. I tried to listen to a few albums before but they never really hooked me. I can only tell you a few of the songs they play and those are the same few songs played on mainstream rock stations. Out of options I decided to check it out. After the coupon, the album would have cost me about three dollars and some change so if I didn't like it, no big lose and I could probably dump it on eBay for more.
As I stated before, I know who Chris Robinson is. At the urging of a friend, I checked out his brother Rich's first solo album Paper (which is brilliant btw). So what the heck, why not. The end results, well oh my.
For obvious reasons, comparisons to The Black Crowes are going to be there. There's going to be no way around that. The Black Crowes were always known as a high energy band. You can tell just by listening to them. Chris Robinson Brotherhood is also a high energy band but instead of being explosive and out there, they're a bit more laid back. I've read comparisons to Pink Floyd and a few other classic rock greats. The only songs on the album where I hear any Pink Floyd influence is on the song “Vibration & Light Suite.” The song is 14 minutes long and does hit a bit of the psychedelic route as the song progresses into and through the instrumental section. There's a little bit of it on “Someday Past The Sunset” where it's got a beat similar to “Money” but slips out on the heavy psychedelic moments “Money” is known for.
If I needed to compare it, I'd say the best comparison would be a mix between The Black Crowes and The Allman Brothers. CRB doesn't do the whole jam thing that The Allman Brothers are well known for. The songs are upbeat, especially the catchy “Little Lizzie Mae.” The album opener, “Lets Go Lets Go Lets Go” kicks everything off in grand style with a catchy beat. Each song sounds great. Not one song is the same as the next. The change up in the styles from song to song certain ly help to keep your attention. It's not the same tune, tone or sound throughout.
This was probably the best $3 I've spent on something in a long time. Honestly, it's worth spending a full $20.00 at one of those rip off music stores that line the malls throughout America. I listen to a lot of music of all different sounds and styles. There hasn't been an album that has really been this satisfying in a while. There have been a lot but not in the same way as The Magic Door. The band released an album earlier in the year that I'm now eager to check out based off of this one. I know The Black Crowes are on a hiatus now but if the Robinson Brothers keep making more music like this individually, it won't matter (to me) if they never record together again.