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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Robin Trower

Coming Closer to the Day

Review by Gary Hill

I've been a fan of Robin Trower since the 70s. For my money, the classic album from him is Bridge of Sighs, and that era is his best. That's true at least until now. This new disc really calls that period to mind. There are songs here that feel like they would have fit on that disc, really.  I have to admit that when I first heard a snippet of the album, I was really missing the late, great James Dewar who sang on Bridge of Sighs. However, Trower (who does everything here except the drums) really does a great job. He's no Dewar, but that man's voice was one of a kind. If you like killer blues rock, this is highly recommended. For my money, the guitar soloing has always been the real magic of a Trower album, and this disc is no exception. The man still has the fret-board skills of a god. I know the roll is already getting a bit crowded, but this is a likely contender to land on my "best of 2019" list.

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Track by Track Review
Diving Bell
Trower's guitar sound really calls to mind his vintage era on this number. The vocals work well, too. This is a killer blues rocking number that works so well. Trower's guitar soloing on this is so expressive. At times he seems to be channeling Jimi Hendrix just a bit.
Truth or Lies
Here we get another classy blues rocker that fits well with the legacy of Trower's catalog. There are some hints of jazz in the mix here, and this has an even more traditional blues vibe to it. When the guitar solo kicks in around the minute-and-a-half mark, I almost feel like I'm transported to the Bridge of Sighs album for a bit. There is a more extensive and far reaching guitar solo later in the piece.
Coming Closer to the Day
Now the guitar sound on this thing really feels like something straight out of the aforementioned Bridge of Sighs album. In fact, the whole tune feels like something that would have been at home there. The slow moving guitar solo section is packed full of style and grace. That's particularly true of the extended solo late in the track. I guess there is a reason this is a title track.
Here we get more of a classic old-school blues jam. Of course, Trower's soloing really elevates the number.
Tide of Confusion
Fast paced rocking sounds are on the menu here. This rocker is so classy. It's another winner on a disc full of winners.
The Perfect Wrong
Not a huge change, this reminds me a bit of "Too Rolling Stoned." Trower's fingers are on fire on that fret-board.
Little Girl Blue
A slow moving, mellower balladic styled cut, there is a lot of jazz in the mix here. This isn't my favorite here, but it does provide some variety.
Someone of Great Renown
More of a hard-edged blues rocker, this is another that's pure class. The riffing oozes cool, but it's the guitar soloing that sends it over the top.
Lonesome Road

Classic old school blues, Trower's guitar work is so tasteful and tasty. It's nothing short of perfection, really.

Tell Me
Another cool blues groove, this might not be a huge change, but it again calls to mind the classic era quite a bit.
Don't Ever Change
More slow blues rock is on order here. Again Trower's guitar work is the real selling point on this thing. That said, there is nothing wrong with this song in any other department, though.
Take Me With You
Killer, more traditional blues drives this number. It's another tasty slab of Trower music. It's a great way to end an album that really doesn't have any weak material. I can almost hear this as a blending of ZZ Top with Jimi Hendrix.
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