In the arts, specifically music, the results of a group of people is usually bigger than the sum of the particular results. It’s plain to see when you listen to, for instance, an orchestra or a choral, where the unison that comes from harmonics and chords is musically richer than the member’s sounds. Concerning blues or rock bands, this kind of result is also expected. One proof of that is the recent work of three music giants, from different genres of music (by the way…) that freely decided to put their musical talents towards a common objective and do what they know the best: make very good music.
In this context, what could you expect from the reunion of a guitar legend, a reggae boundary-pusher, and a producer/songwriter wizard? You’ll find the answer listening to Robin Trower, Maxi Priest, and Livingstone Brown’s album, United State Of Mind. As we warned, this is more than a psychedelic-reggae-pop album, it’s a surprisingly different thing. The self-titled track is a very good song with fine-tuned vocals, good rhythm, and solo guitars, besides horns, and strings. “On Fire Like Zsa Zsa” has more detached bass lines, besides the traditional Trower wah-wah guitars. “Walking Wounded” is a ballad that goes through different kinds of bases: vibe guitars, strings, and basses. On “Sunrise Revolution”, apart from being an excellent song, the highlights are the details, a fine job by the producer (Livingstone Brown), I think. The shakers, tambourines, and horns make all the difference for the music’s mood.
“Hands To The Sky” is a song where the reggae and pop approach is more evident, a territory where Priest feels like home. But, when you listen to the guitar lines you’ll know that it surely is Trower’s guitar. In a relative way, the tracks “Bring It All Back To You” and “Are We Just People” also bring that kind of reggae mood, either because of the cohesive bass lines firmly attached to the drums or because of the wah-wah guitars. I think it’s both. “Good Day” has a nice beat and a beautiful guitar solo. One more time, in “Where Our Love Came From” the strings, horns, and keys fulfill the songs, making the perfect base for the vocals and guitars.
Trower, Priest, and Brown have different backgrounds, but they managed to create an excellent album. In all the songs you can see their individual touch, their trademarks. United State Of Mind is an album that shows that formats of songwriting and recordings like these should be more explored by musicians in general. This kind of recipe ensures that 1 + 1 + 1 are much more than 3.
The Review: 9/10
Can’t Miss Tracks
– United State Of Mind
– Sunrise Revolution
– Hands To The Sky
– Good Day
The Big Hit
– Sunrise Revolution