Rich Robinson: Through a Crooked Sun

Thirty Tigers Records

Atlanta's Black Crowes were often accused of various forms of musical plagiarism, from their obvious Stones/Faces influence to just about everything else in the rockopedia. Regardless, there is little doubt that they made their own unique mark. Now on a "hiatus," Crowe's guitarist Rich Robinson has released a solo album. And while he has shaped a fine body of work, the influences almost overwhelm the creativity. Robinson's songs tell a tale of change, covering virtually every aspect of his personal and professional life over the last several years. His observations wear multiple musical cloaks. From the percussion-driven "It's Not Easy" (a la Santana) and the dreamy, David Crosby-esque "Follow You Forever" to the Grateful Dead harmonies on "Station Man," the California sound is all over this record. Robinson strives to make it all work in, and while the record stands fairly well on its own, the shadows behind it are long and wide. (3 out of 5 stars)