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Richards/Crane - Richards/Crane

by Lauren Fonto at 23 December 2016, 12:40 PM

RICHARDS/CRANE is the result of a collaboration between two experienced musicians – namely Lee Richards of GODSMACK and Whitfield Crane of UGLY KID JOE. It seems that Richards had a bunch of songs which didn’t fit his band’s style, and so found an outlet for expressing himself in a different musical genre. Acoustic guitars lead the album, but it doesn’t simply consist of two voices and a guitar. For example, “Here in the Light” has subtle electric guitar riffs sprinkled throughout, and a wistful-sounding electric guitar solo. Lead single “Black & White” has a variety of things going on musically, and features ALTER BRIDGE/SLASH frontman Myles Kennedy contributing to vocal harmonies. The latter track was one of the highlights of the album for me.

The stripped-down acoustic style – the basis of the album -  makes an appearance on tracks such as “Someday”, “Lost” and “Waiting on a Prayer”. These three tracks nonetheless avoid veering into blandness. “Lost” has flowing, breezy riffs that fit the lyrical themes well, and “Middle-Eastern-style” (for lack of a better phrase) chanting makes an appearance, and provides an interesting ending. The first two tracks I mentioned feature vocals from Vishal Vaid, who has a somewhat huskier tone than Richards and Crane. He does a great job on the tracks he features on. “Waiting on a Prayer” contains poignant vocal harmonies from the main duo.

The vocal harmonies between Richards and Crane are one of the strengths of the album, and I felt that each musician’s voice complemented the other perfectly. I can’t find anything critical to say about that aspect of the album. The harmonies in “Homeward” are haunting, and memorable. The chorus harmonies on “Here in the Light” are catchy – as of writing, I still have that chorus stuck in my head. “Rainy Day” and “Don’t Cry for Me” are good showcases of Richards’ songwriting and musicianship skills – vocals aren’t the man’s only area of talent. I admit that I initially thought that this album was boring – for me, the benefits of multiple listens are clear. “Growers” can prove to be very good albums indeed. Richards and Crane are two musicians who have great musical chemistry, and it’ll be interesting to see what else this partnership yields in the future.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 7
Memorability: 8
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Homeward
2. Everyone
3. Here in the Light
4. Black & White
5. Someday
6. Lost
7. Waiting On a Prayer
8. Rainy Day
9. Don’t Cry for Me
10. World Stand Still
Lee Richards – Vocals, Guitar
Whitfield Crane – Vocals
Jimmy Preziosa – Bass
Shannon Larkin – Drums
Dave Fortman – Guitar
Edward Newton – Strings
Myles Kennedy – Vocals (Black & White)
Vishal Vaid – Vocals (Someday; Lost)
Record Label: Metalville Records


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