The Bands Most Popular Album...for a Reason
Richard Thompson | El Paso, Texas | 09/15/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion - (1992) 10 Tracks ***** (50:36)
With the popularity of the band's debut album, Shake Your Money Maker (1990), and a lot of exposure by endless touring, the band's second album, The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion debuted at #1 on the Billboard top 200 album chart. Amazon reviewers seem to agree, with over 80 reviews for this title and a rating of 4.9 stars out of 5. That is the highest rating of any Black Crowes album. With the release of Southern Harmony we also saw some changes within the band. Their original guitarist, Jeff Cease, had left the band and was replaced by Marc Ford. Also, Ed Harsch became a permanent member of the band to handle all the keyboard work.
The Southern Harmony album continued on with some of the same blues-rock numbers the fans expected, like Remedy, and some slow bluesy songs such as Thorn in My Pride and Bad Luck Blue Eyes Goodbye. What some people didn't expect were the much heavier rock songs Sometimes Salvation, Black Moon Creeping, and No Speak No Slave. The "little bit of country" that this band had shown on their debut album was not present in any way on this release. That might have turned off some of the casual fans, but made me like them even more. Also of note, Chris Robinson's song lyrics are of a much higher quality and more thought provoking then on their debut. The real standout track is My Morning Song. They really "pulled out all the stops" on that one. It just rocks from start to finish. The album closer, Time Will Tell, is a slow, acoustic song that has a very gospel feel to it. This cd comes with an 18 page booklet with photos and complete song lyrics.
The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion is definitely the Black Crowes best album and arguably the peak of their artistic talent for many. Others see it as the first album of a trilogy of great albums which start here and culminate in Three Snakes and A Charm. All three of those albums have the same band line-up which provides a certain amount of consistency.
***** Highly Recommended *****