Robin Trower: No More Worlds To Conquer Review

Jimi Hendrix may have catapulted the guitar into a different stratosphere, but Robin Trower can certainly lay claim to a body of work that deserves to be heard on another planet. At the psychedelic heights of his 70’s power trio heyday, Trower (along with drummer Reg Isidore and incomparable vocalist and bassist Jimmy Dewar) produced a hat-trick of albums to rival any three-piece outfit, from Hendrix and ZZ Top, to the prototypical blues-rock power trio – Cream.

With a career spanning more than six decades, Trower has been there, done it, and got the gig-soaked t-shirt. As well as being the driving force behind Procol Harum’s success, he’s even collaborated with Cream maestro Jack Bruce, and ventured down the psychedelic-reggae-pop route with Livingstone Brown and Maxi Priest.

Now an established and prized part of the British blues-rock furniture, Trower plays with the freedom, poise, and prowess of a man who has No Worlds Left To Conquer.

This time around, Trower decided to step down from vocal duty and let his guitar do the wailing, just like on the ballsy yet bluesy opening track “Ball Of Fire”. The killer Strat tone is to die for, while longtime band member Richard Watts is a revelation with his raspy, sultry voice.

The mystical title track keeps the wagon chugging along the world-class line. Trower drenches the listener with more mesmerizing bluesy phrasing and slow-burn wah squalls. “Deadly Kiss” cements that in the gravel-voiced Watts, Trower has found a kindred spirit and one that has supplanted him in the vocal department.

The biggest compliment I can pay Watts is that he doesn’t just do justice to his predecessors (including the late, great Dewar), but he takes this 11-song LP into orbit, which is an incredible feat given the virtuoso guitar work on show here.

No matter what part of the cosmos you’re in, this is vintage Trower. The bends, like his revered vibrato, are executed perfectly on pitch and rhythm. Like every great six-stringer, his sound is unmistakably his own – he’s refreshingly inventive and carves out musical emotion in abundance. Just nest up alongside the shimmering “Birdsong” in what might be the album’s peak with its atmospheric feel and haunting harmonies.

“Waiting For The Rain To Fall” evokes the magic of water descending from the sky. It’s a masterclass in both melody and the use of restraint. There’s even time for some political clout on the funky and danceable “Clouds Across The Sun”, as well as “The Razor’s Edge”, with Trower, Watts, and sticksman Chris Taggart ramping up the blues-rock heat in evident vexation. These two prophetic numbers reflect the current state of the world we’re in, but that still isn’t enough to detract from the lead work that’s gloriously raunchy and on the money.

At 77 years of age, Trower is a phenomenon that still carries the torch of that 70’s texture and heavenly tone. He continues to dazzle and evolve, but there’s never any let-up in quality control.

To quote a famous lyric from the man that Trower inevitably draws comparisons to “If I don’t meet you no more in this world, Then I’ll meet you in the next one. And don’t be late”.

Trust me, if the music is as good as this in the next realm, I for one will be arriving early (just to avoid the queues). Simply out of this world.

The Review: 9.5 /10

Can’t Miss Tracks

– Ball Of Fire
– No More Worlds To Conquer
– Birdsong
– Waiting For The Rain To Fall
– Fire To Ashes

The Big Hit

– Birdsong

Buy the album: Amazon

5 thoughts on “Robin Trower: No More Worlds To Conquer Review

  • Trower lol
    Never got his due
    Because of the b.s. commercial music
    Ty for this article

  • I got turned on to Robin Trower back around 1976 or so.
    I started playing Guitar when I was about 6 or 7….too long ago and too many Brain Cells to remember…but, my older Brother had a killer Album Collection and while looking through them one day, I saw Robin Trower Live.
    The Album Cover was a picture of him; taken from behind with him holding a Strat, dressed in what looked like a Kings Court Jester outfit, standing in front of a monster crowd in a Stadium and I thought, I gotta listen to this!!
    Look at all the people, he’s got to be pretty good.
    At this time,remember it’s 1976, I hadn’t even turned 13 yet, just started getting into Uriah Heep and Black Sabbath after JOHN DENVER being responsible for me wanting to play!!
    I drop the Needle on the opening track, Too Rollin’ Stoned and that was it. I WAS HOOKED!
    Needless to say, my brother never saw that Album again!!
    Later came the song Daydream and I think,from that point, that’s when I knew that all I wanted to do with my life was be a Musician who could play like Trower.
    He came to my Hometown of Memphis to play but my parents wouldn’t let me go because I was too young.
    Needless to say, I was not very happy.
    Now, fast forward to about 1987.
    It took him that long to come back to Memphis and I definitely WAS NOT GOING TO MISS HIM THIS TIME.
    I’m 10 years older, playing in a Hard Rock band.
    Dressed in my Leather Motorcycle Jacket, ripped Jeans, Tanktop T-shirt and long 80’s hair and Sunglasses.
    Unfortunately he, instead of Headlining, was playing after Mason “1 hit wonder” Ruffner and BEFORE the completely unimpressive Johnny Winter…..I left after Johnny’s 2nd song…horrible.
    Anyway, Robin comes out and starts the show the same way his Live Album started….Too Rollin’ Stoned.
    He absolutely stole the night. I could’ve listened to him for the entire time limit of all 3 bands.
    Then it happened…..the opening links of the song that did it all for me, Daydream.
    He played with more feeling, more finesse and played that song with his entire Soul, to the point that this long haired, Leather clad, 80’s Hard Rock Guitarist literally has tears coming from my eyes.
    True story. There has NEVER been ANY Musician who has brought me to tears not only seeing them but listening and FEELING EVERY NOTE.
    Why Robin Trower is not listed among the Guitar Gods in the same breath as Beck, Page, Clapton is totally beyond me.
    My opinion, Jeff Beck is a totally different style, Robin Trower blows Page, Clapton along with so many others placed above him.
    I love Joe Bonamassa but he isn’t fit to re-string Trowers SHOES.
    I’m still a Rock and Hard Rock Guitarist and Musician…I play multiple Instruments…
    I honestly don’t know what I would do if I ever had the chance to meet MY GUITAR HERO. I wouldn’t be worthy of even handing him a Guitar Pick!
    Unfortunately, I doubt that I’ll ever have the chance to see him play again.
    I live in SW Florida and he’s never come within 3 hours of my area…but Joe Bonamassa comes here every other year, if not every year.
    If Mr. Trower was to ever read this, I AM BEGGING YOU TO PLEASE MAKE A FT. MYERS, FL AREA VISIT!!
    I will pay how ever much it cost, even if it meant me selling a couple of my Vintage Guitars just to see you LIVE again before my time on this earth is through and before you decide to retire. I’d sell more Vintage Gear just to meet you and have a Photo.
    It’s been nearly 40 years since I last had the honor of listening and watching you from about 50 feet away.
    What I wouldn’t have given to have caught a Guitar Pick from the man who made me the type of Guitarist I became.
    I may have learned the speed and tricks from some of my influences but the speed and tricks mean nothing if you don’t play it from your Heart and Soul.
    I’ll take the Heart and Soul that YOU filled me with over anything else I can do on my Guitars.
    Thank you and thank God for blessing me with hearing you and your contribution to my playing style.

    • I missed seeing him most of my young and middle years because of raising a family, even had to miss the Victims of The Fury tour in Shreveport La, living only two minutes away from the former Circle in The Square because of being poor (my wife wouldn’t let me pawn the TV!)
      Now, all of my kids turned out terrific! And I’m remarried, *snigger* to a wife who bought me my first tickets to see Trower in 2008. After that, I’ve seen him on every US tour since. It’s worth every dime, if you’re a fan… fly somewhere else he’s playing if you have to.
      Here’s what I wanted to say. Kieth: When you see him, bring something for him to sign and have your camera at the ready because after every show I’ve been to, he exits the backdoor, gets into his SUV, with burly guys around, and rolls down the window and lets the fans, one-by-one approach. You’ll have about 30 seconds to say your particularly stupid something and have him sign what you brung and take your picture. So, rehearse if you have too ;-).
      Now, COVID may have changed all that, I hope not.
      Best of luck to you. Keith.

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