Black Stone Cherry – The Human Condition (Album Review)

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It is overwhelming the number of interesting concepts that human beings can get attracted to in order to learn about them. From the infinity of space to the human body’s anatomic complexity, every aspect of life and existence is, by itself, a remarkable and compelling notion. However, the concept from which Black Stone Cherry develops their new album called “The Human Condition”, for me, is totally fascinating.

The Kentucky hard-rock band’s newest album explores the aforementioned concept through a collection of songs that once again demonstrates the mastery with which the four-piece band creates highly melodic southern rock tunes. After 19 years of trajectory and with their seventh studio album, Black Stone Cherry shows no signs of exhaustion or stagnation. On the contrary, they succeed in elevating their anthemic and captivating musical trademark. 

From the opening track “Ringin’ In My Head”, the listener can quickly identify some of the musical elements that Black Stone Cherry has kept consistent through their whole discography. In this sense, the strapping riffs quickly make themselves present, and the catchy chorus threatens to stay inside your head for life, wrapping it up with an explosive solo. Despite being written some years ago, such song depicts the actual events resulting from the current pandemic with astonishing prophetic precision. 

The above-mentioned song portrays how Black Stone Cherry elaborates with surprising ease instant hits ready to be shouted at arenas. The song’s structure consisted of a potent riff, a short but extremely hooky chorus, and an enthralling solo is repeated through the album. However, they are also known for delivering mid-tempos full of emotion, and overall, their songs provide a boosting message that echoes inside the listener. 

As an example of such remarkable mid-tempos, we find the emotional “In Love With The Pain” track, which has all the appealing to become an instant classic inside the Black Stone Cherry catalog, a radio hit, and a fan-favorite tune. With a straight-forward approach, the listener will emerge into a beautiful piece that will give goosebumps to every person in love. The album moves around the human condition, so the subject of love is of vital importance, and it is brilliantly portrayed. 

“The Human Condition” Album Artwork

The capacity of human beings to experience diverse emotions with the complexity and intensity with which they are feel, is completely impressive and reserved only to our species. Unfortunately, we can not only experience positive and pleasant emotions, there will be several times that we will be facing unfortunate events that will cause us aching sensations. Black Stone Cherry understands this since they have experienced it as human beings, so they continually deliver songs with an uplifting and a hopeful essence, just as in the track “Again” that with its fast-paced groove and the inspiring and moving chorus delivered through Chris Robertson´s soulful voice, invites us to rise stronger from adversities.

The rest of the songs continue to depict different aspects of human life with great emotion, whether through a thoughtful power ballad or a killer hard rock tune, the direct way of presenting such inspiring pieces makes up a much needed enjoyable experience for the listener. 

It is inevitably to fall into commonplaces after so many years of making music. Black Stone Cherry sticks to a winning formula that allows them with The Human Condition to deliver an emotional and powerful collection of pieces that will thrill every one that let themselves carried away by their emblematic and electric southern rock sound.

Released by: Mascot Records/Mascot Label Group
Released Date: October 30th, 2020.
Genre: Hard Rock / Southern Rock

Musicians:

  • Chris Robertson / Lead vocals, lead and rhythm guitar
  • Ben Wells / Lead and rhythm guitar
  • Jon Lawhon / Bass
  • John Fred Youn / Drums

“The Human Condition” Track-Listing:

  1. Ringin’ In My Head
  2. Again
  3. Push Down & Turn
  4. When Angels Learn To Fly
  5. Live This Way
  6. In Love With The Pain
  7. The Chain
  8. Ride
  9. If My Heart Had Wings
  10. Don’t Bring Me Down
  11. Some Stories
  12. Devil In Your Eyes
  13. Keep On Keepin’ On

8.3 Great

With The Human Condition, the newest album by Black Stone Cherry, the Kentucky band once again delivers a highly recommended collection of energetic, exciting, and appealing tunes that unfolds through various human emotions. Be ready to be caught by their vibrant hard and southern rock proposal full of thunderous grooves, hooky choruses, inspired solos, and burly riffs that will stick inside your mind for a very long time

  • Songwriting 8
  • Musicianship 8.5
  • Originality 8
  • Production 8.5
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