Release Date: Jul 29, 2016
Record label: Megaforce
Perhaps it's unfair -- or at least slightly reductive -- to compare the Chris Robinson Brotherhood to the work of Rich Robinson, the estranged brother of the band's leader, but listening to their 2016 albums side by side illustrates the divide between the co-leaders of the Black Crowes. Flux, the fourth album by Rich, doubles down on the earthy Southern sounds that always rooted the Crowes, but Anyway You Love, We Know How You Feel, the fourth LP by the CRB, is so light it floats away on its own haze. Apart from the knowing "Leave My Guitar Alone," the rhythms aren't blues-boogie, they're nimble funk-rock colored by a psychedelic sensibility that isn't about chops but rather endless expansion.
Gloriously good vibes on California quintet’s fourth album. There was a noticeable lack of accord when the Black Crowes finally called it a day early last year, after an on-off career that lasted more than a quarter-century. The split was largely due to the deteriorating relationship between the brothers Robinson (singer Chris and guitarist Rich), the siblings publicly admitting that however hard they tried to see the bigger picture, they just couldn’t get on.
Ex-Black Crowes frontman Chris Robinson has reinvented himself with a band more musical, soulful and downright fun than his previous brotherhood. Their latest morphs between latter-day Grateful Dead and P-Funk, longer on vibes than songs but confirming their spot on the jam-band top tier. It's good-time music on an end-times mission: When the pedal-steel-gilded "California Hymn" declares, "Let your cup overspill again – glory hallelujah!" it seems churlish not to answer back, "Amen." .
Anyone with a kneejerk horror of the concept of jam bands could do worse than immerse themselves in Chris “Black Crowes” Robinson’s Brotherhood, now four albums old. From a sprawling homestead of laid-back southern rock, the Brotherhood meander inwards into folk and psychedelia, and now, outwards into vintage soul, vintage funk (check the standout Narcissus Soaking Wet) and sepia-tinted variants of boogie. If nothing else, this freeform, unapologetically hirsute approach is a salutary corrective to the wipe-clean version of the American musical motherlode peddled by umpteen more mainstream acts.