Album Review — Black Stone Cherry

Black Stone Cherry — The Human Condition

There is a lot of music out there. I’ve got my list of bands that I like and follow. And then with all of the solo records and offshoots of those bands it’s hard to find time for anything else. But once in a while I’ll come across a band I like that has been out for a while and I have no idea how I missed them.

Case in point, Black Stone Cherry. I’ve seen their CDs in record stores and they looked like a band I might like. But I never got around to checking them out. Late last month they released their seventh album, “The Human Condition”, and I’m finally getting around to checking them out.

Fans of the band will wonder why I’m so late to the party and that I won’t be telling you anything new. But maybe there are some of you that haven’t heard them or aren’t as familiar with them. And to you I say it’s time to check them out.

To me, the band sounds like a mix of newer rock with a touch of classic and southern rock. Vocalist Chris Robertson reminds me a bit of Richie Kotzen with a deep rasp to his voice. The band is very guitar forward with lots of big hooks. You can hear a little blues and country influence, but it’s definitely rock and roll.

There are 13 tracks on the record and I like all of them. There’s the ELO cover “Don’t Bring Me Down” which sticks pretty closely to the original. I’m not sure the album needs this cover song as the other 12 songs are plenty good. But that’s nitpicking.

I haven’t spent enough time with the record to really have favorites yet. The songs that have stood out to me so far include the album opener “Ringin’ In My Head” and the second track “Again”. Both are driving rock songs that set the tone for the record.

There are three tracks that I would call more mainstream. I really like two of them. “When Angels Learn To Fly” and “In Love With The Pain” are both very catchy with their big hooks.

And the album closer, “Keep On Keepin’ On” is another standout track with more big hooks that leaves you wanting more.

I’ve only been listening to “The Human Condition” for a couple of days but I already know that I’ll be spending more time with it and will go into their catalogue to see what I’ve been missing.

In what has been a down year overall and in music, it’s nice to a pleasant surprise as the year is winding down. I expect after a few more listens my rating may change a bit, but for now, I’ll say it’s very solid and well worth your time.

90 out of 100

Track Listing

1. Ringin’ In My Head *
2. Again *
3. Push Down & Turn
4. When Angels Learn To Fly *
5. Live This Way
6. In Love With The Pain *
7. The Chain
8. Ride
9. If My Heart Had Wings
10. Don’t Bring Me Down
11. Some Stories
12. Devil In Your Eyes
13. Keep On Keepin’ On *

*Best Songs