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Blackberry Smoke - 'Holding All The Roses' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/c9/8e/c0/Blackberry-Smoke-Holding-all-the-roses-40-1429729499.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     April 22, 2015    
 
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This Blackberry is well and truly Smokin'... superstardom surely beckons.

Though they've been around for thirteen years now, it was only in 2014 with the U.K. release of 'The Whippoorwill' that I became familiar with Blackberry Smoke, the Atlanta quintet becoming the most impressive band that appeared on my radar last year. Are they a Southern Rock band, a Country band, or simply a Rock 'n' Roll band? In fact they sit comfortably within all three categories without straying too far into one specific genre to become pigeonholed, much like the Eagles managed to do. It ensures mass appeal and their relocation to Earache Records can only be the start of their well-deserved leap into the mainstream.

Four albums and two E.P's in thirteen years isn't exactly prolific, yet barely a year after album three ('...Whippoorwill') and the ensuing lengthy world tour comes the follow-up 'Holding All The Roses', recorded under the guidance of Brendan O'Brien (Black Crowes, Pearl Jam, Bruce Springsteen) in just eleven days, something that gives '...Roses' a fresh, raw vibe that sounds amazing without being over-produced. Aside from the sprawling, Bluesy ballad 'Woman In The Moon' with its subtle string arrangements, it's a rowdy, raw and Rocking album yet it still manages to expertly blend acoustic guitar with the electric riffs. The songs are more concise and livelier than those of its predecessor, with more immediate melodies, while it also benefits from a grittier edge and a smattering of "good 'ol cussing" strewn throughout Charlie Starr's often intriguing lyrics.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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The more Country-sounding element of BS's output can be found in the glorious mid-tempo 'Living In The Song', the acoustic-based 'Too High', the cheeky tale of incest that is 'Lay It All On Me' and the shuffling ballad 'No Way Back To Eden', while the exhilaratingly raucous 'Holding All The Roses' itself has a fiddle vying for attention amongst the twin guitar attack of Starr and Paul Jackson. Elsewhere it's pretty much Classic Rock 'n' Roll all the way; opener and first single 'Let Me Help You (Find The Door)' is all Rolling Stones riffery with a real earworm of a chorus, the chugging 'Rock And Roll Again' is prime Status Quo, 'Wish Is One Hand' is a compellingly catchy Rocker with a great guitar workout, 'Payback's A Bitch' a darker cautionary tale (that was first aired on the live 'Leave A Scar' album) and the closing 'Fire In The Hole' is a classic-sounding seventies Southern Rock anthem with swirling Hammond Organ flurries constructed around the grinding rhythm.

'Holding All The Roses' is an American metaphor for being a winner, which tells you everything you need to know about this album. This Blackberry is well and truly Smokin'... superstardom surely beckons.

Ant Heeks

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