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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Robin Trower, Maxi Priest, Livingstone Brown

United State of Mind

Review by Gary Hill

I've been a fan of Robin Trower for years. His Bridge of Sighs album is still a frequent visitor to my turntable to this day. Trower's style of guitar and tasteful expression within that idiom really makes him something special. This new release includes vocals by reggae singer Maxi Priest and bass and keyboard work from Livingstone Brown. The result of that collaboration is a set that really feels like it belongs in the Trower catalog. Yet, it's augmented by a bit of a soulful element that at times turns jazzy. Call it what you like, but I like it a lot.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2021  Volume 4. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2021.

Track by Track Review
United State of Mind
This cut has a cool funky, bluesy groove to it. The strings add some intriguing flavors. The whole tune just rocks like crazy, though. Of course, the guitar work on this is great, but so is everything else.
Are We Just People
A slower moving cut, this isn't far removed from some of the stuff Trower did all the way back on Bridge of Sighs. There are some cool soulful edges to this. Trower's guitar soloing is particularly tasty here.
On Fire Like Zsa Zsa
More energized, this is a killer rocker. Horns are an intriguing touch, and the whole tune grooves like crazy.
Walking Wounded
A slow moving, bluesy groove is on the menu here. This is so evocative and powerful. It's one of the highlights of the set for me. The tune is understated, but potent.
Sunrise Revolution
I like this classy rocking groove. The tune has a lot of class and style.
Hands to the Sky
There is a soulful, rather jazzy sound to this tune. It is so tasty. The horns bring a lot to the table here.
Bring It All Back to You
A slow moving R&B styled groove drives this song. This is another slab of class.
Good Day
With some funk in the mix, I dig the blues rocking sound of this cut. It's another tasty tune.
Where Our Love Came From
Soulful blues concepts are at the heart of the closer.
 
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