Sunday, October 23, 2011

#12: The Black Crowes - Before the Frost...Until the Freeze

Release Year: 2009

The Crowes had a long and, in some respects, turbulent, career, with struggles over creative control, poorly received experimentation, and a hiatus or two, but it all culminated in this excellent work, Before the Frost...Until the Freeze.  This album was recorded in front of a live audience, with minimal overdubs, in Levon Helm's studio in Woodstock, NY.  This gives the album a bit of a spontaneous feel.

The first disc, Before the Frost, is more typical Crowes (except for, ironically, the lead single, "I Ain't Hiding," which has a bit of a disco beat).  The second disc (technically, just mp3 downloads), however, is what really makes this work.  Here we see the Black Crowes strip down to good 'ole folk music.  It was really their journey into folk territory that made them ascend about the level of standard rock-and-roll bands, and here we're treated to a whole disc's worth.

The Crowes are back on hiatus now.  We'll see if they get back together again and make more records, but if they don't, what a fine record to end with.

Standout tracks:
  • I Ain't Hiding
  • Roll Old Jeremiah
  • Been A Long Time (Waiting On Love)
  • Shady Grove

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