Robin Trower-No More Worlds To Conquer  (Review)

Review by Emily Tipping

Since jumping into the fray of writing about rock and blues music, I’ve never been more intimidated than I have been about writing the review for the new Robin Trower album. No More Worlds To Conquer will be released April 29th. I wasn’t born when Trower’s Bridges Of Sighs was released in 1974. So, what might this girl know about Robin Trower? I know he basically wrote the book on blues music and is responsible for some of that great rhythm heard in R & B.

     In this latest piece of audio art, Trower composes songs that take a page out of Mother Natures’ almanac. He intertwines weather and nature into a very current concept album. Each elemental track is like a chapter in the novel of a beautiful passion play.

     “Ball Of Fire” hits with a great youthful beat and showcases singer, Richard Watts, who has a sultry voice that ignites the passion in the music. Watts conjures Don Henley tones here that are smooth but with a rough edge. “No More Worlds To Conquer”, the title track, brings you right down into a retro, bluesy state and its chilling how much Watts sounds like past Trower vocalists James Dewar. The entire album has a groove infused sound with Chris Taggart tapping the drums under Robin’s signature Stratocaster. 

     “Deadly Kiss” has a sensually psychedelic sound, perfect for love making, much like his other albums. “Birdsong” with its compelling minor chords and haunting harmonies, is very relatable to anyone who is reminded of a past love upon hearing a specific sound. “Losing You” has a driving beat, desperate lyrics and changing time signatures. “Waiting For The Rain To Fall” has such a soulful sorrowful sound with low base tones, artful picking and fabulous phrasing. Track 7, “Wither On The Vine” has an incredible mix of tempo and taste like reading a page out of my own heart. Trower Emphasizes there is no time left to waste, create the life you want or let your life ‘Wither on the Vine’ like unpicked garden vegetables. “Cloud Across “The Sun” is a funky song that is one of the rare danceable Trower tunes. It is followed by “Fire To Ashes.” It is here the album takes a sudden mournful turn. Insinuating a feeling of what happens when things don’t work out.  The weary-hitting “The Razor’s Edge” strikes his envelope filter stretching the notes from bass to treble. The final cut, “I Will Always Be Your Shelter” wraps up this album with a patina of a bygone era. 

     He is a master of his own method, a pioneer of his own style, and an inspirational influencer of his own kind. He still carries the torch of that 70’s texture and tone, stamping his mark on his extreme string bending techniques and the way he shakes the neck of the guitar to accentuate the vibrato.Trower is notably one who inspired the late, great Jimi Hendrix, SRV, the band Los Lonely Boys, Joe Bonamassa and Mike Zito, to name a few.

 He is a bona fide British-born, blues-note bender, who leads a power trio that feeds the empty soul. Trower has a specific sound that he hears, in his mind, then he actively searches for and creates that sound to put all the pieces together for a melancholy masterpiece or a rowdy rockin’ blues number. 

 Even though Robin never really received the accolades and recognition that other great guitarists have, the last generation has been shouting his name from the mountain tops for years. My parents, Aunts and Uncles have seen him dozens of  times live, in places that aren’t even on the map today. Wild, true stories have been passed down about my Aunt diving into his limo’s window to get the elusive Trowers’ autograph in front of the legendary Zephyr in Salt Lake City, Utah. 

     Knowing hardship, and knowing the Robin Trower sound, deep within me, I find solace. A place I find myself after years of shows, a wide range of musical root knowledge, and blood that runs deep in the veins of the blues. A place where it’s my turn to keep the blues alive. 

     Grab a copy of Robin Trower’s  No More Worlds To Conquer on April 29th, 2022.  

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