The Black Crowes

Croweology (Silver Arrow)

Phases & Stages

The Black Crowes

Croweology (Silver Arrow)

Relaunching the Black Crowes brand with 2008 tomahawk Warpaint and the mature winter blues of follow-up Before the Frost/Until the Freeze here earns the Robinson boys a victory lap. Double-disc mini gatefold and pop-up card self-songbook, Croweology opens atop a stripped but thick take of "Jealous Again," in which accentuating piano and feminine harmonies match the rumble at which acoustic and electric guitars treble the same frequency as percussion. A hand-clap drive shaft on "Share the Ride" also cruises on unleaded. That's when "Remedy" misses its amp stacks and "Hotel Illness" catches a head cold. Amorica mates "Ballad in Urgency" and "Wiser Time" remain back-to-back, but almost double their original run times, with "Thorn in My Pride" falling prey to similar endlessness. "Girl From a Pawnshop," from 1996's Three Snake and One Charm, stretches its rich acoustics, fiddle, and mandolin without the homogenization of sound and arrangement that semiacoustic endeavors such as this court, matched only by second disc farewell, "Bad Luck Blue Eyes Goodbye." (The Black Crowes' hiatus tour lands Saturday, Sept. 25, at Stubb's.)


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