Keith Richards, Crosseyed Heart - album review

Download: Trouble; Love Overdue; Nothing on Me; Illusion

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The Independent Culture

Keith Richards’ musical character is neatly summarised here in the line “Torn at the edges, but really, really loose inside”; and whatever style he uses on this first solo album in more than two decades, from country-blues to croon, rock’n’roll to reggae, he sustains that character as a unifying thread.

It opens at his roots, with the Robert Johnson-styled title track, Richards the roué briefly torn between wife and girlfriend. When those cross-cutting guitar lines combine with characteristic low-slung swagger, as on the rocking “Trouble” and “Nothing on Me”, the results are as magical as ever.

The latter is one of a few tracks on which Keith plays the outlaw, evading censure while seeking revenge; while at the other extreme, he comes across surprisingly sweet and vulnerable on the reggae groove “Love Overdue” and “Illusion”, where a duetting Norah Jones oozes calm warmth over his anxiety.

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