Picks and Pans Review: Amorica

updated 11/07/1994 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/07/1994 AT 01:00 AM EST

The Black Crowes

With punk newcomers like Green Day and Offspring striking platinum by sounding as unkempt as they look, older bands like R.E.M. have taken to tousling their own tunes. Now, the Black Crowes follow that lead. On their third album they are in fine cheeky form, all barroom bluster and blurry blue-eyed soulfulness. Frontman Chris Robinson—no longer acting so much like a young version of Mick Jagger or Rod Stewart—still produces Slacker-friendly two-liners: "I don't know my telephone number/ But you kiss good and I'd like to see you tomorrow." After the album kicks in with the whopping one-two-three punch of "Gone," "A Conspiracy" and "High Head Blues," however, some Amorica numbers sound like unfinished business. "Cursed Diamond," "P. 25 London" and. "Downtown Money Waster," though frayed in all the right places, aren't fully formed. The Crowes may be trying to sound freshly rolled out from the garage, but Amorica needs to be shipped back for a little more precision work. (American Recordings)

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