BLACK STONE CHERRY – Family Tree
Southern hard rockers Black Stone Cherry released their sixth album last week, more specifically “Family Tree”, and as some of you out there already know, these dudes are all about groovy, loose, and spirited music influenced by everything from blues, country, Americana, and classic rock.
There is usually a sense of depth and texture to these guys’ raw and lively song material, but unfortunately, “Family Tree” is an uneven and rather mixed bag of songs that is ultimately a disappointing and frustrating listening experience. Granted, some of those huge chords and bluesy riffs full of grit that we have come to associate with the band are present on this 13-track effort of theirs. It also has to be said that Chris Robertson’s voice is warm and crisp as usual, but that does not change the fact that the first half of the album is lackluster and lacks bite except for opening track “Bad Habit”. Luckily, the second half is better and features some cool tracks such as “James Brown”, “You Got the Blues”, and the title track, all of which range from the bombastic to the melancholy.
Overall, those riveting and wildly exciting tunes that Black Stone Cherry usually conjure up on their albums are simply lacking this time around. “Family Tree” does have some qualities and cool aspects and so on to it, but ultimately it is a bit of a letdown due to the fact that it never really takes off or unleashes its potential. Too few songs stand out. Apart from it being somewhat predictable, it is neither as moving nor as entertaining as it could have been and it adds very little to the BSC canon.