Robin Trower's latest album is tinged with mortality and thoughts of a life well lived, and life of regret. Trower himself is still a man at the peak of his craft musically and creatively, despite being 73 years young. On this album, he takes over all the instrumentation, except the drums. The album's atmosphere is forged from classic blues and early R&B, and smoulder's with the edgy undercurrent of a dimly lit, spit and sawdust blues cafe far out of town. It's the music of a musician that still has a fire in his fingers and a zest for life.
By Trower's own acknowledges he's 'closer to the end than the beginning' and elements of the album reflect a rear mirror view on life. Lonesome Road is about touring and wondering how long he can continue his intense scheduled and Ghosts is a rueful track remissness about times where things didn't go to plan. The title track is laced with regret, but also an optimism of how life is short and precious and how we continue to grow. Trower's soulful performance on the track is near transcendental, capturing a life well lived with just a tender pluck of the strings. The subtle addition of semi-angelic choir adds poise to the track before Trower adds a final sting: a reminder to 'stop counting every step,[and] be free.' Little Girl Blue only serves to heighten the album's atmospheric club feel, with undulating and yearning guitar work. Tide of Confusion taps into the retro vibe with a nod to Jimi Hendrix that roots Trower in his epoch, but also pushes him towards the contemporary with the trend of younger musicians returning to the style of the old masters of the genre. On Truth or Lies Trower doesn't write from personal experience, but the bittersweet track about an unfaithful partner is given as much emotion and depth as if it were. Despite Trower saying that on Someone of Great Renown is about being somebody, he'd have like to have been, his vocals and guitar work continue to show his status as one of the UK's most eminent bluesmen.
Groupie Rating 4/5