Robin Trower

Time & Emotion

(Manhaton Records)

The veteran guitarist, singer and songwriter really does deserve the term ‘artist’ and is on a run at the moment, producing a recent series of albums that blend artistry with soul, stuffed with atmospheric songs and played with punch and when required, the gentlest touch.  As I have said before, the man paints pictures for your ears….

 

The Land Of Plenty pounds into your ears and soon the guitar figures are tumbling from Tower’s fingers over a sinister riff. Trower’s own growly voice does the song justice. A strange bridge is here and gone. The fluid axe gnaws at the tune with a curling insistence. It’s apocalyptic stuff, exploiting the beauty of distortion, especially after the 3-minute mark…

 

What Was I Really Worth To You sits on a dirty shudder, with distance echoes of John Lee Hooker. The lyric explores looking back with suspicion, dark secrets are uncovered. Robin sounds haunted, here. A soft wah lurks in the mix, only adding to the mystery. The guitar coda sounds edgy, shadowy as only Trower can conjure up.

 

I’m Gone sounds angry as it starts, mini riffs chug in and out over the backbeat. The bass is boomy and omnipresent, a Hammond sighs in the mix. The guitar solo is snappy and restless, almost like Devo slowed-down. Bitten By The Snake works around a pulsing hypnotic tread – an accusatory tale. A cool ascending bridge gives way to a brief chorus.

 

Returned In Kind has a wah’d Jimi ambience with another heavy-hearted Trower vocal. The tones used here are earthy and ethereal by turns. If You Believe In Me has a steady bluesy feel, layered with light chords. At 2:20 the guitar digs in and tunnels through the cut, then @ 3:00 we are into a heady drifting passage with icy flanging and sharp guitar figures. Guitarctic!

 

You’re The One is all dreamy UniVibed psych-drift, a soul mantra over a IV-I theme and Trower is a space captain piloting us through purple clouds. And no, I’m not on anything ! Can’t Turn Back The Clock is a more solid churn, purring wah slivers. Trower’s kind of blues. Make Up Your Mind could lyrically be Albert King, one of Robin’s major influences. Boy, does his voice sound just right for this! The solo’s are relaxed blues.

 

Try Love is choppy and determined, tambourine tapping in with the drums. The message of Try Love is emphasised by James Brown clipped axe and startling chords. Slow burning funk, by the master of these things. A soft stagger on the changes makes things swing all the better. Time & Emotion finishes the set and it’s a mix of jazz chords and thoughtful words, basically on a theme of loss. It’s a beautiful song. Indeed.

 

Another superb album, subtle playing, all sorts of tempo’s and singing that brings out the best in each number. Pushed for a favourite I’d go for If You Believe In Me and it would be great to hear this one in concert, Robin!!

Pete Sargeant



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Photo of Robin Trower Credit: Laurence Harvey

Robin Trower’s new studio album ‘Time Emotion’ is released on Friday 4th August 2017 by Manhaton Records.

You can preorder the album here: http://bit.ly/2sw3yRN

In addition, Robin Trower will be performing his only UK concert of 2017 at Islington Assembly Hall, Islington, London, United Kingdom on Wednesday 29th November 2017. 

Tickets are onsale now and can be purchased here: www.thegigcartel.com

24 hr Box Office: 08444 780 898

For artist information  and  other tour dates visit www.trowerpower.com   

Robin Trower
Robin Trower