January 11, 1999 12:00 PM

The Black Crowes (Columbia)

Album of the week

Classic 1960s rock and roll is not dead, but much of it has been dismembered. Just listen to those familiar old riffs and bits turning up on hip-hop CDs. The Black Crowes, however, do more than simply Cuisinart the old tunes for reuse; the Atlanta-based band seems to recycle classic sounds whole. Some of the tracks on this latest album are almost paint-by-numbers re-creations of the great Rod Stewart and Ron Wood collaborations of the late 1960s and early ’70s, with strutting vocalist Chris Robinson starring as Rod and his bandleader-brother Rich impersonating Woody. A few cuts sound like old Rolling Stones outtakes, and the title tune rolls along exactly like the Stones’ “Tumbling Dice,” only with different lyrics and vocals as if by Rod. Purists will wonder why to buy this album when the Stones’ 1972 Exile on Main Street or Stewart’s 1970 Gasoline Alley exist on CD. But unreconstructed rock fans will be happy that music like this is being made at all these days.

Bottom Line: It’s only rock and roll—and we like it

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