Rich Robinson - Through a Crooked Sun
Robinson's second solo album fills the gap created by the ongoing Black Crowes hiatus. It's a gutsy, soulful set and, as you might expect, uses the Crowes' blues-rock template as a base for its more singular endeavours.
That said, it's surprising that it doesn't go further. The booklet, boasting b/w photos of the recording sessions and Robinson's country home, suggests an urbane, folky vibe but Through A Crooked Sun is for the most part as muscular as the results of his day job. All raggedy riffs and driving rhythms, here's a labour of love that hits a groove but rarely catches fire. Plus, on this evidence, it's obvious why brother Chris got to be the singer. A cover of Fleetwood Mac's 'Station Man' is a thoughtful diversion but, by and large, Robinson's second solo outing plays safe, putting tradition before invention and steering clear of too much variation. For fans, a no-brainer; for the casual listener, there's a counter full of roughneck troubadours offering headier thrills.