Robert Randolph – Colorblind

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Robert Randolph
Artist: Robert Randolph
Title: Colorblind
Label: Warner Bros.
Rating: 7/10

CORPORATE LINE: With Colorblind, Robert Randolph and the Family Band have taken the difficult leap from being great performing artists to being great recording artists. Since emerging from a House of God church in Orange, New Jersey steeped in the “sacred steel” tradition, Randolph’s astonishing pedal steel playing has had a revolutionary impact. The big step this time around was the decision to collaborate with other songwriters, including Tommy Sims (who has written songs with Eric Clapton, Bonnie Raitt, and Garth Brooks), Jeff Trott (Sheryl Crow), Mark Batson (Dave Matthews Band, Gwen Stefani), and the team of Drew Ramsey and Shannon Sanders (India.Arie, Heather Hedley). As the album’s title indicates, the results on Colorblind range from infectious R&B to timeless ballads. “Ain’t Nothin’ Wrong with That” is a sure-fire party-starter, while “Blessed” presents Randolph’s more spiritual, introspective side. And, there is a blistering version of the Byrds’ “Jesus is Just Alright With Me,” featuring Randolph and Clapton – who became a close friend and mentor to the younger artist when they toured together – in a blazing guitar battle recorded live in the studio.

THE GOOD:
“Ain’t Nothing Wrong With That” – Randolph didn’t worry about packing the song full of lyrics because it still makes your leg tap and sing along. This is a party jam with background vocals that will remind you of a gospel track.
“Jesus Is Just Alright” f/Eric Clapton – This cover of the Doobie Brothers song is highlighted by the masterful work of Eric Clapton.
“Stronger” f/Leela James – Leela James has a voice like an angel. This is a wonderful ballad even a man can enjoy!
“Thrill Of It” – This is an instantly enjoyable song.

THE AVERAGE:
“Angels” – I really wanted to enjoy “Angels”—it’s a shame that it sounds so bland. It has a smooth Lenny Kravitz soul and yet it never lifts off the ground.
“Delivery Me” – Another song which is light on lyrics—and not nearly as forgivable. It’s a funky jam session that goes nowhere.

THE BAD: Nothing.

FRANKLY: Robert Randolph and the Family Band hasn’t gone Colorblind—however they have definitely taken the aural enjoyment up a notch from their last release. With a host of great guest stars and songs that getting you singing along, Colorblind is a jam fans dream come true. Then again—don’t mistake Colorblind as a pure jam session. Most of the songs come in under four minutes and yet they feel spacey and even.

+ Rae Gun

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