The Black Crowes have found themselves again on Warpaint, the long-awaited studio release from the Brothers Robinson and family. For a record that seemed all but impossible for The Black Crowes towards the start of this decade, Warpaint gives The Black Crowes finest works a brand- new rival.
Warpaint is an album that is best exemplified by its true personality. “Walk Believer Walk” finds guitarists’ Rich Robinson and Luther Dickinson dropping into the hard blues, while vocalist Chris Robinson howls about “mainline Jesus” and wanting “your diamond god.” Then there is “Oh, Josephine,” a tender ballad that doesn’t force a cringe by being too contrived, instead touching on real things such as life, love, and everything in- between. It’s a genuine moment from a band that seemed to have the hardest time just being themselves for the longest of times. Their signature brand of rock and roll – a mixture of Keith Richards, Alex Chilton, and Gram Parsons that has made The Black Crowes’ catalog one of the most varied in all of rock – allows the band to sound positively revitalized on “Wounded Bird” and “Movin’ On Down the Line,” especially when coupled with a healthy dose of psychedelia.
Warpaint closes with the pastel hope found in the slide and strum of “Whoa, Mule.” Robinson sings, “We’re dirty but we’re dreaming, we’ll both get there someday.” It’s an optimistic refrain that downplays the subtle truth: “I could tell you that all pastures stay green, but you know that I’d be lying,” he states. But for all the highs and lows, The Black Crowes have finally found a reason to stand tall again.
In a Word: Proud