Atlanta’s Blackberry Smoke have referred to their home state for the grammatically confusing title of their seventh album, ‘You Hear Georgia’, and even this deep into their career it’s pretty easy what to expect from the quintet.
Album opener ‘Live It Down’ is a cut and copy rock ‘n’ roll piece that sounds like it has come right out of the back street diner menu.
The title-track of a record normally represents a high enigmatic point in the release, but on ‘You Hear Georgia’, it’s as dull as a butter knife. It lacks almost any creativity or originality, instead delivering another classical rendition of blues meets rock combination with wah pedals at the ready at every turn.
Even the guest vocals from Warren Haynes on ‘All Rise Again’ fail to ignite the sigils of emotion, as the slow plod of riffs that include the odd whining solo are average country rock all the way through.
Turning onto different tracks, ‘Old Enough To Know’ starts off as purely raw acoustic number. It would be a fantastic change of pace, but is spoilt by the introduction of background instrumentation. At times, this being one of them, less means more.
Sounding like it’s been taken straight out of a Blues Brothers soundtrack, ‘All Over The Road’ features organs and one stringed solos with cheesy chords all over with the usual lazy tone from vocalist Charlie Starr who really could do more to invoke emotion into his audience.
Put simply, even for fans of heavily tinged Southern rock, ‘You Hear Georgia’ is almost as one-dimensional, bland, and cliche as albums can come. Unless you’re already a committed Blackberry Smoke, there’s sadly little rewarding to be found here.