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"LP plus a 7inch vinyl containing the final track. Formed by husband & wife Derek Trucks (acclaimed guitarist, member of The Allman Brothers Band) and guitarist/vocalist Susan Tedeschi, Tedeschi Trucks Band is a group intent on moving forwards, with latest / fourth album ‘Signs’ spotlighting this Grammy Award-winning act’s ability to expand musical boundaries whilst delivering heartfelt song-writing with conviction. Simply, ‘Signs’ showcases the band at its best – combining inventive musicality and provocative lyrics across 11 new tracks, running the gamut from uplifting soulful anthems through to bittersweet ballads and driving rock ‘n’ roll. These are songs for our times, with a sound and a message that taps into tradition whilst also extending the edges of American music with a truly genre-defying collection. The bulk of the writing is shared amongst the band, with additional contributions coming from close friends and frequent collaborators Warren Haynes, Oliver Wood & Doyle Bramhall II. As with prior recordings, ‘Signs’ was tracked in Derek & Susan’s home studio, Swamp Raga, with Derek, Jim Scott and Bobby Tis taking charge of the production side; to ensure that the overall sound matched their uncompromising demand for quality, they departed from prior studio protocol and recorded ‘Signs’ on two-inch analogue tape, using an original Neve console plus a ’70s Studer tape machine to deliver a warmth and a richness that recalls the ambience of the best vintage recordings. ‘Signs’ also finds the band pushing themselves lyrically, delivering powerful messages that hold a mirror to our troubled and tempestuous world."
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The song 'They Don't Shine' is a classic number like the old Stax tunes and highly memorable and chugs along nicely and the 'I'm Gonna Be there' features a guitar solo towards the end to die for.
Derek Trucks plays a blinder on most tracks as you would expect, even lesser moments would be the highlights of others albums. The man always plays with subtlety and taste and never showboats.
The vocals on the album from Susan Tedeschi and clear and bright and never overshadowed by the subtle backing vocals and orchestration from a large band, the production keeps it all together without overdoing it.
This being their fourth studio album I would suggest this is by far their best and as it is very compact and concise and never gets boring recalling many of the 70's Atlantic/Stax albums of sublime R&B and blues.
The 7 inch single contains an acoustic blues number which is really out of keeping with the rest of the album and I can understand why they wanted to keep it separate, good as it is.
Overall I think this is a great album and have decided to raise my rating to 5 stars something I rarely do preferring to keep that rating for the very best and classic albums and this is one of them without doubt in my opinion.
However just to inform those who might be thinking of purchasing the vinyl edition it does not include a digital download card as stated on the TTB website unless mine is a one off, who knows but disappointing as I like to listen to music all over the place and not just in front of the stereo.
R.I.P. Kofi Burbridge 18/02/2019
Susan has unfortunately stomped all over this album with her bawling, I wonder when Derek will be allowed out of the cupboard to play some wild loud music again?
Crikey, there's even an orchestra playing on this self-indulgent album of blandness!
These guys need editing, for this is Emperor's New Clothes territory and I fear they must be surrounded by yes-men who worship every move and have lost their critical faculties.
Please Derek, please do a solo album without all this extra pompous nonsense?
And bring back Mike Matteson, where is he?
Not nearly as good as it should be, I fear the TTB has peaked, folks.
This is why this album is such a disappointment. Truck's guitar seems to have less prominence and there is a absence of jazz solos. To make matters worse, the horns are absent from some tracks and a string section added for a number of the tunes. However, there are only a few tunes like "Signs, hard time" and "Hard case" that seem to capture the old spirit of the band. The rest of the album has its moments but it generally let down by the ordinariness of the material which does deserve the negative comments about the album being middle of the road. I was shocked that this album could be quite so bland and there is relatively little here that would appeal to most jazz and blues fans even if the FM-friendly nature of it will certainly garner more friends in the States where this would be more popular.
The TTB is sensational live and has previously produced some hugely compelling records which have refreshed blues music. Anyone wishing to explore this band should explore the back catalogue as this effort regretfully does not really demonstrate what all the fuss has been about.