The Black Crowes – Happiness Bastards

In a way, in the nineties The Black Crowes were both a throwback and a throw-forward....
The Black Crowes : Happiness Bastards
7.7 Silver Arrow
2024 
The Black Crowes : Happiness Bastards

In a way, in the nineties The Black Crowes were both a throwback and a throw-forward, for they channeled Southern blues-rock parties in a way that at the time, seemed a bit retrograde, but in retrospect presaged the Southern alt-rock & indie-country of this century/millennium. Of course the band have had break-ups & reunions, but it’s five years since their last reunion, and fifteen since their last new album, but they’re still Happiness Bastards.

The years have not greatly changed The Black Crowes, who still manage be both of a time and applicable to every time. On Happiness they definitely lean into the party you’ve known since “Remedy”, from the down-home opener “Bedside Manners” onward. If the bump-and-grind blues-rock good times isn’t completely revelatory, it’s still very fun on songs such as “Bedside”, “Wanting and Waiting”, or the bopping “Flesh Wound”. There are a few tracks where the group slows down and gets sadder, including “Wilted Rose” with current hot country star Lainey Wilson, but that’s only the pause before the next hepstepper.

Long-running acts with enough hits to fill a double-album (which The Crowes already have, 2010’s Croweology) don’t necessarily need new albums, and certainly don’t need to change things up. The Black Crowes stay true to themselves as Happiness Bastards.

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