V2 Records
Release date: May 7, 2001

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When the release date for a new Black Crowes record becomes official, the waiting starts, and the bands impressive back catalog makes it easy to be disappointing by the new material. Is it gonna be as good as the last one” After years of nervously anticipating new releases by the band, I can now make an official statement: “The Black Crowes will NEVER disappoint fans of true rock’n roll”!. They are incapable of making a bad record.

There, now I can finally get some peace…

Lions is the brand new album, released a couple of days ago, on their new label, V2 Records. I’ve had a copy of the album for a few weeks now, and after living with the album, there’s no doubt that this is a well crafted masterpiece. And it grows on you, after each play you will find new details to marvel over. It’a modern day classic, and it brings back the “album” concept,… meaning there are no duff tracks on it, but a beautifully put together music experience.

Opening with a lot of noise, heavy drums and loud guitars, “Midnight from the inside out” majestically struts from the speakers. You can tell that playing with Jimmy Page never was a bad thing for the Crows. An interesting song, with a lot of exciting twist and turns. If they ever make a video for the song, they could be playing while enjoying a travel on a magic, flying carpet. It’s that kinda song! Next up is first single, “Lickin”, and it’s a funky little number, with “stuttering guitars” and a danceable groove. “Come on” continues the funky,and swinging feeling, with a lot of cool guitar riffs and chorus that will have their audiences shouting and singing along. Certain to be a live favorite during their next trek. “No using lying” puts the tempo a little bit down, with a great guitar work and lyrics from the Robinsons, moody and bleak, but with a chorus that takes the song to a different place. Creative and inventive. “Losing my mind” acoustic and with beautiful organ playing, just builds and builds, creating one of the most intense moments on the record. Classic.

Funky and soulful, good-time number ” Ozone Mama” puts a smile on my face every time. Check out out the organ riffing, harmonica and the swinging drums. And Chris Robinson in storming form, proving there’s quite no one else that can touch him, singing these kind of rock songs. The Crows slides through “Greasy Grass River”, another great song with great performances from all of the members from the band. Should be another concert favorite.

My favorite song (right now…) on the album is next. “Soul singing” is pure joy and summer-smiles. All the right twist and turns, with a “sing along” chorus- part, with great backing vocals. This should be the next single. Perfect for late summer nights and laid back evenings with your best friends. Listen.

“Miracle to me” is a melancholic-sounding song, with a stunning vocal performance from Chris Robinson and a beautiful guitar solo. Next up “Young Man, Old Man” picks up the pace with a scratchy, dark and menacing sound, still funky though. And rocking!

“Cosmic Friend” is another inspired song, featuring a lot of wild playing, heavy drums and a strange song -structure. Why some critics STILL insists on accusing The Black Crowes of ripping off other older artists/ groups I cannot understand. They never could have listened to the music… “Cypress tree” is another swinging rocker, and the last one on the album. Setting the stage for the final number, “Lay it all on me”, touching lyrics, beautiful piano-work, acoustic guitars, an orchestra and a soaring guitar solo. A fitting finale to the album, simply stunning.

Summing up the album is easy: EXCELLENT.

Highlights: Lions, the album.


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