At the age of 77, UK guitar legend Robin Trower shows no sign of stopping. Don’t be misled by the title of his latest album, for Trower shows with his musical genius and stunningly simple guitar work on his 26th solo release that he still has unfinished business.
Robin Trower – No More Worlds To Conquer (Provogue Records)
Release Date: 29 April 2022
Words: Paul Hutchings
He’s been producing quality blues-based music since the late 1960s, first as the driving force behind Procol Harum and then as a solo artist. Whilst Trower’s star was highest nearly 50 years ago with the phenomenal Bridge of Sighs, which saw him fill stadiums in the US, a mere sample of his work from six decades confirms that the Catford born guitarist is much more than one album.
“I definitely feel like I’m still reaching,” Trower says, “with the guitar, and the songs, and everything else.”
2019s Coming Closer to the Day was the last album I reviewed. It was a fabulous release, and Trower had admitted at the time that he was closer to the end of his career than the start of it. I missed United State Of Mind, which featured Trower, Maxi Priest, and Livingston Brown, but it’s on the list of music to catch up on. Such is the mesmeric power of Trower’s guitar playing.
No More Worlds to Conquer is laid back and relaxed. It’s the work of a master who has nothing to prove. His playing is sublime throughout, little flicks and tricks pop up from time to time, but overall, it’s his skilful ability to make his guitar work sound so simple that is what makes this such a beautiful album to listen to.
His combination of Fender Stratocaster and Marshall amp continues to serve him well. Throwing the odd shape on Birdsong, pushing the wah-wah on Deadly Kiss or upping the tempo on Losing You, Trower covers it all.
He’s also not averse to social commentary. His dissatisfaction with politicians is evident in The Razor’s Edge and Cloud Across the Sun, whilst Deadly Kiss reflects on drug addiction.
From what I know, Trower is very particular about his tone. Whatever the angst and frustration he may cause those who work with him, the results from where I sit are worth every moment. From the chug of opener Ball of Fire with its chopping sound through to the sentimental closing, I Will Always Be Your Shelter, this is class from start to finish.
The solo on the Motown flavoured Waiting For The Rain To Fall and the flourishes on Wither On The Vine are just two examples of Trower’s fluid and organic playing.
Trower’s no slouch in the vocal department, but he’s brought in Richard Watts for several songs, ones that he might not be able to deliver like he used to. Trower handles the bass, whilst drummer Chris Taggart returns once again. The combination is excellent, the sound majestic, and the sum of the parts spectacular.
No More Worlds To Conquer is flawless, and the finale of I Will Always Be Your Shelter is the perfect way to close out the record. Perfectly relaxed, gentle, and calming, it’s an emotional conclusion with some majestic playing.
Eleven tracks show once more that when it comes to quality, age is no barrier. This may be one of Trower’s best works. It’s that good.
No More Worlds to Conquer
1. Ball of Fire
2. No More Worlds to Conquer
3. Deadly Kiss
5. Losing You
6. Waiting for the Rain to Fall
7. Wither on the Vine
8. Cloud Across the Sun
9. Fire to Ashes
10. The Razor’s Edge
11. I Will Always Be Your Shelter