In City Dreams marked a change in direction for Robin Trower. He played his axe just as sweetly as before, but he began to put more emphasis on song accessibility. Additionally, he brought in a funk-style bass player named Rustee Allen to give more punch to the rhythm. The album was a welcome change from the misty, murky blues of his earlier records, but the songs weren't strong enough to effectively displace what had made his name in the first place: potent guitar work. Several of the songs have a real "party" feel, such as the opener "Somebody's Calling" and the 12-bar blues of "Further On Up the Road," with its raucous background noise. "Bluebird" calls to mind "Little Wing" by Hendrix, but James Dewar's saccharine singing ultimately ruins the effect. The one song that successfully conveys the mood that Trower intended for this record is "Sweet Wine of Love," a mid-tempo tune about a wedding night celebration; it's straightforward and melodic, with a lilting, understated guitar solo.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Peter Kurtz