Servants of the Sun

The Chris Robinson Brotherhood / Chris Robinson

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Servants of the Sun Review

by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Servants of the Sun comes into view on the back of percolating synths and noodling guitar -- the kind of arrangement that suggests a new dawn. It's an appropriate sound for an album called Servants of the Sun, then, and it's also a nice, easy progression for the Chris Robinson Brotherhood, in essence moving the group from the front half of the '70s into the late '70s. Sonically, it scans like the transition from American Beauty to Shakedown Street, but where the Grateful Dead got bogged down by their flirtations with funk and disco, CRB are a bit too sharp and weathered to repeat that mistake. Seasoned by both the stage and studio, the Chris Robinson Brotherhood sound unusually spry on Servants of the Sun, riding hippie-funk vibes with a genial agility. Unlike so many jam bands, though, CRB keep their focus on the song. While they have plenty of space to wander and trip, each of the album's nine full songs are tightly constructed; the hooks are not only every bit as alluring as the band's sunbleached sound, they keep the spaciness in check. The result is a positively buoyant rock & roll album, one that produces good vibrations even at the darkest moments.

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