Rich Robinson's talents are already familiar to the millions of fans who've embraced his work as guitarist/songwriter/co-founder of the Black Crowes. But his debut solo effort Paper is a potent musical statement that's likely to come as a pleasant surprise to even his most ardent admirers.
The self-produced album - on the artist's own Key Hole label - finds Robinson singing lead and playing most of the instruments on 14 original compositions that reveal the young veteran to be both a distinctive, eloquent lyricist and an engaging, expressive singer. While rockers like "Know Me," "Enemy" and "Yesterday I Saw You" embody the ballsy, rootsy crunch that put Robinson's former band on the map, Paper also encompasses a more thoughtful, introspective side, as well as an unmistakably adventurous sonic vision that manifests itself in the acoustic, orchestral and psychedelic textures of such tunes as "Veil," "When You Will," "Falling Away" and "Forgiven Song."
Paper is the product of a lengthy period of personal and musical self-discovery that began when the Black Crowes - the band Robinson formed with his vocalist brother Chris while both were in their teens - went on indefinite hiatus early in 2002. During their 13-year, seven-album recording career, the group almost singlehandedly restored raunchy, no-frills rock 'n' roll swagger to commercial prominence, while earning a near-mythical reputation for its combustible internal chemistry.
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