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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Black Country Communion - 2: B+

If you’re like me, you were probably surprised that the debut album from Black Country Communion, the supergroup of solo guitarist Joe Bonamassa, bassist/singer Glenn Hughes of Deep Purple and Black Sabbath fame, Foreigner drummer Jason Bonham, and former Dream Theater keyboardist Derek Sherinian, wasn’t a hulking piece of shit. Also, if you’re like me, you were probably surprised that this seeming one-off was actually going to come up with a follow-up to their debut less than a year after its release. And, also, if you’re like me, you’re going to be surprised that the appropriately titled 2 is just as robust and reliable as their debut.

Basically, if you enjoyed Black Country or if you are a big fan of the affiliates of these group members, you will enjoy 2. It has reliable riffs, excellent instrumentation and displays some solid hard rock songwriting. The group has a clear chemistry (otherwise this album wouldn’t exist), so it is great fun just to hear them play off each other, even if that doesn’t necessarily translate into the most memorable of songs.

2 is nearly identical to Black Country in virtually every way – musically, thematically, lyrically. What only distances 2 from its predecessor is that Joe Bonamassa does not feature as prominently with show stopping guitar solos like Black Country’s “Too Late for the Sun”, and that does work against the group, overall. Still, Black Country Communion has proven with 2 that they are a force to be reckoned with. Hard rock’s a bit of a dead art these days, so it seems apt that the people resurrecting it are the people who helped create it.


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