Chris Robinson Brotherhood “Any Way You Love, We Know How You Feel”
Label: Silver Arrow Records
Release date: July 29, 2016
Never a fan of broad sweeping classifications of music, especially the term grunge, the expression southern rock, in my mind, conjures the sights and sounds of Duane Allman, slow guitar licks that build into gratuitously lengthy guitar solos and the Black Crowes. The brothers Robinson have been a mainstay on my playlist since “Shake Your Moneymaker” hit airwaves in 1990 and to me are the epitome of rock that is geographically located in the North American southern extremities. The two brothers were as volatile as baking soda and vinegar when mixed but the ensuing music was nothing less than resplendent. The highly publicized sibling squabbles eventually tore the musical duo apart and subsequently launched mediocre solo careers and ambitious new projects that never quite shined as bright as the super nova known as the Black Crowes. The latest from the Chris Robinson project titled “The Chris Robinson Brotherhood” is a prime example of the lackluster post Crowes efforts. The fourth studio release from the band titled “Any Way You Love, We Know How You Feel” is a 60-watt lightbulb shining on a sunny day. It doesn’t detract from the day and you barely notice it is there much like the elevator music playing on this effort. Disappointment runs deep on this release. The frustration is similar to the irritation of reaching for that half full 2 liter of Coke in the fridge only to realize that the fizz has left this once refreshing thirst-quencher. For now, Chris Robinson has gone flat it seems.
“Any Way You Love, We Know How You Feel” is full of southern harmony and gospel-like vocalizations that really do sound first-rate but something is lost in translation lyrically and also in the lengthy delivery. The album gently eases the listener in like a toe testing of bathwater with the slow building opener “Narcissus Soaking Wet”. Mr. Robinson is vocally on point but lyrically he is as profound as Theodor Seuss Geisel reciting “Fox in Socks”. The track “Forever as the Moon” helps pick up the tempo of the album but unfortunately the intro sounded like a blatant rip-off of The Rolling Stones “Heartbreaker”. A very poor one at that. “Any Way You Love, We Know How You Feel” is an instance of my desire to have another classic Crowes album but the result was crushingly disheartening. If you have purchased one of the three prior Chris Robinson Brotherhood albums, then you already own this album. “Any Way You Love, We Know How You Feel” is available at chrisrobinsonbrotherhood.com or any other reputable site where music is available online. Until next time true believers…