ALBUM OF WEEK 45: THE MAGIC DOOR

I won’t justify the missing updates related to albums of past weeks. This time I can say I’ve been listening to much stuff I’ve already commented. For instance, spent lots of time listening to Abandon Jalopy’s Death and Joy before the show, I recovered American Slang to warm up too, and have been playing  Born to Die and Blues Funeral, starting to consider which 2012 released albums are my favorite. Still I had my personal favorites  for the last weeks, I’ll be posting this days.

magic door

Some time ago I realized the musical presence of the talented Robinson bros, Chris and Rich, is kinda essential for the world keeps balanced. It’s been many years since The Black Crowes, have been amusing us, the music lovers, giving complete sense to rock, by means of bringing back its genuine roots, and adapting it to modern times and styles.

Not so long ago, the brothers decided to change the status of the band to inactivity. It’s kinda fun the term used for this “vacation”, hiatus. The band hasn’t officially split up, however their members are getting a life, far from each other, taking care of their own business  and personal projects.

Many people see these projects with angry eyes, as an obstacle preventing a possible The Black Crowes comeback, however I like them, in fact I encourage certain artists, especially bands whose main members are brothers, to split at least for a while, and develop their own creativity without the typical brotherhood boundary. Perhaps you think I’m talking nonsense, but let’s say I used to be close to one of these brother and brother bands, and on one hand, it’s true that complicity is outstanding, however at the end of the day, in order not to piss the other off, one eventually might get frustrated not being able to release all their creativity. Crash of egos is another risk, competition and some sort of rivalry.

Anyway, since I heard Neal Casal was joining Chris Robinson Brotherhood, I started paying more attention to upcoming news.

The word Brotherhood makes me smile, especially coming from Chris, a genuine stoned hippie. It’s like a “Hey bro! It’s time we spread and share some love” or something like that. Brotherhood means something warm and close to me.  Truth is that the reason for the birth of this brotherhood was Robinson’s desire of having a band appointed to play just in Cali, with no pressure, giving him the chance of playing freely just for pleasure.

CRB

This year two albums have seen the public light. First was Big Moon Ritual, released in June, and this second, The Magic Door, which came out in September. Regardless the different dates of release, both were recorded simultaneously. It sounds weird, but considering the extended length of the songs, I find the split of the albums quite reasonable.

The Magic Door also includes 7 songs. There are a couple of remarkable things. On one hand discovering  that the opening song, Let’s Go, Let’s Go, Let’s Go, is a cover, is surprising, and on the other, that two late Black Crowes songs are revisited, Appaloosa and Little Lizzie Mae, is shocking. You can understand this in many different ways, as if he wasn’t satisfied with the result when recorded with the Crowes, or just the opposite.  Usually whenever a member of a prominent bad decides to go on solo, seems that they want to cut the ties and not to be so related to the previous project, but in this case, the usual tendency does not apply.

My favorite song of this album no doubt is Vibration & Light Suite. From pure groove and great vibes, with mellow melodies and a beautiful chorus, the song evolves into something more psychedelic, and harder,  mainly thanks to the amazing work on synthesizers and the solo guitar. It’s kind of a trip for the senses, and also time travelling to the age of psychedelia. Delightful!

The Magic Door is pretty easy listening, suitable for everyone, and the experience is very pleasant. Guess it’ll be difficult to attend a show of CRB if they are not up to tour Europe, they must be terrific. I’d put them in my 2013 wishlist, you never know…

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