Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards has released his third solo album, Crosseyed Heart, today via Republic Records. This is Keith's first studio album since 1992's Main Offender.
Filling out Richards' band on the album are the X-Pensive Winos, who are Waddy Wachtel (guitar), Ivan Neville (keyboards), Steve Jordan (drums), the late Bobby Keys (saxophone), and Bernard Fowler and Sarah Dash (backing vocals). Norah Jones makes a special guest appearance on the song "Illusion." All the songs on Crosseyed Heart were written by Keith Richards and Steve Jordan, with the exception of "Goodnight Irene" (Lead Belly) and "Love Overdue" (Gregory Isaacs).
The 15 track album clocks in at nearly an hour, and it packs a punch! Acoustic flavored songs like "Robbed Blind" and Keith's take on Leadbelly's "Goodnight Irene" are mixed with other tunes that contain a healthy dose of good old-fashioned rock and roll. Horns, piano, and backing vocals add a comfortable depth to tracks like "Amnesia," and the reggae inspired "Long Overdue."
Throughout the album, you can hear the British blues of The Rolling Stones and Eric Clapton as well as classic Mississippi blues influence from artists like Muddy Waters and Son house, but that can be expected from a musician who has spent 50+ years in one of the greatest bands ever and has played with some of the legends. There's also some good funk, supported by that top notch rhythm section.
Tracks we recommend include "Crosseyed Heart," "Heartstopper," "Amnesia," "Robbed Blind," "Trouble," "Long Overdue," "Nothing On Me," "Blues In The Morning," "Something For Nothing," "Illusion," and "Substantial Damage."
After a very strong start to the album, some of the songs toward the end slow down the momentum, although fans of Keith may find them endearing. This might have been a stronger album if a few songs got cut and 15 minutes were trimmed to make this more like a classic LP in length. Keith has never been a very good singer, but the album sounds great and has excellent production overall.
For the latest music, news, and tour information about Keith Richards, check out his Zumic artist page.