Robin Trower: The Playful Heart

Vintage stuff from mid-70s guitar hero.

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One of the most tasteful and skilled guitarists of his generation, Robin Trower saunters back into the spotlight with a solo album of a calibre that would have graced his mid-70s commercial heyday.

From its enticingly upbeat opening title song to the slowly undulating lava-flow of tracks that meld as one over the latter stages of the album, epitomised by the sensuous Maybe I Can Be A Friend, via such touchstone moments as the heartfelt The Turning and the shimmering Dressed In Gold, this is classic Trower.

Complemented by the silken vocals of Davey Pattison, plus the classy backing of his excellent current live band, forget the Hendrix-impersonator shadow Trower has laboured under for most of his career; this is far more what Cream would have sounded like had they regrouped while Clapton still had long hair and buds in his beard. Trippy.

Mick Wall

Mick Wall is the UK's best-known rock writer, author and TV and radio programme maker, and is the author of numerous critically-acclaimed books, including definitive, bestselling titles on Led Zeppelin (When Giants Walked the Earth), Metallica (Enter Night), AC/DC (Hell Ain't a Bad Place To Be), Black Sabbath (Symptom of the Universe), Lou Reed, The Doors (Love Becomes a Funeral Pyre), Guns N' Roses and Lemmy. He lives in England.