Three albums in 71 years spent on this earth would suggest a work-rate that is not particularly infernal. However, Keith Richards does not only work for himself, but as a principal songwriter for a little known band called The Rolling Stones… Emerging from the shadows on the 18th September, Crosseyed Heart is the third studio offering from the human riff, whose last solo venture dates from as far back as 1992’s Main Offender. With nothing to prove, and perhaps nothing to gain, Richards allows himself to have fantastic fun on a disc that reaches nearly an hour. It has no frills, and is all the more endearing for it. Surrounded by three long-time collaborators, namely Waddy Wachtel (guitar), Ivan Neville (keyboards), and the album’s co-composer Steve Jordan (drums), Richards brilliantly slaloms between rock, blues, country and reggae, wielding his eternally potent image as a rakish, ethereal tramp. The production on Crosseyed Heart merits a mention, sticking firmly to the guitarist’s blueprint, and thereby bringing a touch of authenticity to the disc. But it is, finally, in the ballads and slower songs that Keith Richards works wonders here (the acoustic opening to the bluesy track 'Crosseyed Heart' reminded Qobuz of Robert Johnson; as did 'Robbed Blind' and 'Suspicious'). It is a delight to see this living God of Rock leave his status in the changing room, and play and sing in a simple, direct way. We wish to alert your attention, finally, to two further tracks, a cover of 'Goodnight Irene' by Leadbelly, and the track 'Illusion', which features guest vocals from Norah Jones.
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