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The Best Of Robert Cray- 20th Century Masters- The Millenium Collection

music reviewmusic reviewmusic reviewmusic review  out of 4 Music Review: The Best Of Robert Cray- 20th Century Masters- The Millenium Collection

Artist: Robert Cray
Genre: Blues, Rock/Pop
Release Date: October 2002

Review by Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck
4 stars out of 4

Robert Cray seemed to come out of nowhere with a smash album called "Strong Persuader" in 1986. He was already actively recording his music before the release of that album, in fact he had already released four solid albums prior to 1986. Most people just had not recognized him as a force in music yet. His rapid ascent into the blues community's consciousness caught everyone off guard. He continued to record great records and he is still a strong attraction wherever he performs. I had a chance to catch him live in 1987 at the San Francisco Blues Festival but it never happened. As soon as Cray and Albert Collins walked on to the stage, the mood of the crowd changed instantly. All the drunkards and stoners overwhelmed those of us that were up front. I then promptly packed it in and left. That is another story though.

The 10 tracks that comprise this CD provide proper emphasis of Cray's career. "Smoking Gun" is the song that launched his career like a racehorse right out of the starting gate, and he has not slowed down since. His emotionally charged lyrics revolving around relationships always seem so real and true to life. His guitar cuts like a knife right to the core of your soul while is voice is clear and pensive, always looking for a reprieve from his pain. The combination of blues, soul, and rhythm and blues set to his melodious voice sets each story into motion…and in a trance like way pulls you right into his world. Cray came around just in time to save our lost souls. When music was as shallow as our glutinous society, he refocused the blues right back into prominence with respect and powerful impact. As mentioned in the liner notes, he single-handedly brought back the blues.

This CD could easily find a time and place in your life. It speaks a language that we all understand. Furthermore, it is not dependent on your mood at the time. This is just the tip of the iceberg for the Cray faithful to enjoy, I am sure there will be much more to come in the future in regards to compilations, boxed sets and the like, so stay tuned in to this man's career.

1. Smoking Gun
2. Right Next Door (Because Of Me)
3. Bouncin' Back
4. Don't You Even Care
5. Holdin' On
6. These Things
7. I Was Warned
8. The One In The Middle
9. Some Pain, Some Shame
10. You're Gonna Need Me



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