Black Stone Cherry’s “The Human Condition” – Groovy, Gritty, and Warm

Black Stone Cherry’s rock and roll attitude and storytelling talents work hand-in-hand, making this new record the saving grace of 2020.

“People, people, your attention, please,” kicks off Black Stone Cherry’s new album, The Human Condition. With passionate, gritty vocals and a groovy guitar riff that will get your foot tapping, it’s clear not even a minute into this record that the Kentucky based rockers did not come to play this time around. 

“Ringin’ In My Head” is a quintessential rock song to add to your crazed-quarantine-playlists and jam out to whenever and however you want. (The album is called The Human Condition, afterall.) It is flawless opening track from start to finish and perfectly sets the tone for the entire album – which is one of tremendous originality and classic rock influences being put together mellifluously by talented bona fide rockstars.

Timely as ever, Black Stone Cherry knew that we needed some home-grown, authentic music to feel connected to both each other and the arts. This album feels personal, but not just in the sense of lyrical storytelling, but in the overall tone and feeling that the album gives off. It seems as though this record, truly each and every song, was cathartic and expressive simply in nature, which I believe will resonate with the listeners and audiences so immensely it’ll be the warmth they didn’t know they needed this fall.

My favorite song, “If My Heart Had Wings” is an earnest, dynamic tune with more fervor and passion than I have heard a song have in a long time. Personally, with the soul grabbing vocal runs, truly sonic melodies, and equal balance of rock and roll and pure heart, I never wanted this song to come to an end. If you took the greatest hits from Avenged Sevenfold, Daughtry, and Keith Urban, put them in a blender, poured it into a (hopefully reusable) cup, and took a sip, it would be this song; the most scrumptious, driven, melodic, musician drink you’ve ever had.

Covering “Don’t Bring Me Down” by Electric Light Orchestra was just the icing on the cake of this new Black Stone Cherry Record. An already fantastically authentic and highly regarded rock song can only be taken to so many new heights, but over four decades later, this Kentucky based quartet took it to the moon and back. Although they maintained the anthemic, harmonious ELO sound, they still turned it on it’s Southern rock head and made it their own. This cover breaks up the groovy, original sound that The Human Condition, but in the absolute best way possible.

As gritty and garage rock the vocals may be, it’s so clearly coming from a soulful place, one that is filled with an innate musicality and an adoration for performing. Lead singer Chris Robertson’s voice is God given with the purpose for it to fill a room. The instrumentation backing it, thanks to the insanely talented Ben Wells, Jon Lawhon, and John Fred Young, only furthers the anthemic, electric feelings that come when listening to each and every song off The Human Condition.