Sound — 7
Kentucky southern rock band Black Stone Cherry released their 3rd album, "Between The Devil & The Deep Blue Sea". The band worked with modern rock super-producer Howard Benson for the first time, and you can immediately tell that BSC are trying to break into the mainstream on this album. That being said, they haven't abandoned their southern rock sound completely. What they have done is streamline it. The first single, "White Trash Millionaire", sounds like an 80's hair metal leftover. It isn't a bad song by any means, but it's a bit weird for BSC. This song does sound tailor-made for a stripclub, as does "Let Me See You Shake". Elsewhere, we find traces of their southern rock foundation on "Blame It On The Boom Boom", and an absolutely STELLAR cover of the Marshall Tucker Band classice "Can't You See" (the best song on the album by FAR). The things that really irritates me are the noticeable absence of many memorable leads from guitarist Ben Wells, and the LOUD mixing of the drums and bass. They overpower the guitars in points.
Lyrics — 7
Chris Robinson (not to be confused with the dude from Black Crowes) turns in a stellar vocal performance as usual. He is IMO one of the best rock singers around. However, his lyrics took a step down from the interesting stories from the first two albums. On this one, I believe Benson contributed to the lyrics on a couple songs as they're about sex ("Blame It On The Boom Boom", "Let Me See You Shake"). However, we still have traces of their storytelling in "Like I Roll", "White Trash Millionaire", and "Killing Floor". The most interesting songs lyrically are "Such A Shame", which is about abuse of women, and "Change", which seems to be a shot at Barack Obama.
Overall Impression — 7
I don't like this album as much as the first two. I think they tried too hard to be a radio band on "Between The Devil & The Deep Blue Sea" by working with Howard Benson. I think some BSC fans wil embrace it, but others will shun it. I personally think it's pretty good, but it's definitely the worst of BSC three albums (And they're ALL good). This album is basically BSC trying to be Nickelback, which they're not. They are a southern rock band, and they should go back to that style. BSC as a radio band just isn't their niche. That being said, it is better than a lot of the crap that will be released in rock this year. The best songs are definitely "Can't You See" and "Killing Floor". I don't love this album, but I don't hate it other than the sometimes overpowering drums & bass. I'd buy it again if it were stolen or if I lost it, but I wouldn't run out right again to replace it.