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Unclassified Enhanced


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Audio CD, Enhanced, August 5, 2003
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Amazon's Robert Randolph and the Family Band Store

Music

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Photos

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Biography

ROBERT RANDOLPH & THE FAMILY BAND

When Robert Randolph talks about his new album, Lickety Split, a few words come up over and over—"joy," "freedom," "energy." Which is no surprise, really, because those are the same things that immediately spring into a listener's mind when these twelve tracks from the virtuoso pedal steel guitarist and his ... Read more in Amazon's Robert Randolph and the Family Band Store

Visit Amazon's Robert Randolph and the Family Band Store
for 8 albums, 7 photos, discussions, and more.


Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 5, 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Enhanced
  • Label: Warner Bros.
  • ASIN: B0000A4GC9
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #63,806 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Going In The Right Direction
2. I Need More Love
3. Nobody
4. Soul Refreshing
5. Squeeze
6. Smile
7. Good Times (3 Stroke)
8. Why Should I Feel Lonely
9. Calypso
10. Problems
11. Run For Your Life

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Is this a big-tent revival? A funky throwdown? A jam-band juggernaut? Unclassified is all that, and so much more. The story of Robert Randolph is Hollywood-issue: kid from the gritty Jersey streets is saved from the bad life by playing steel guitar in a House of God Church. Of course, it wouldn't mean a thing if the guy couldn't play, but he can really tear it up. By updating the sacred-steel tradition with heavy doses of blues, funk, and rock, he's not only emerged with his own sound, but he's brought the music full circle, returning those pop-music styles to their gospel roots. The disc reaches some terrific heights from the very start with a fiery trio of opening songs: "Going in the Right Direction," "I Need More Love," and "Nobody" are joyous, uplifting romps brimming with the fervor of gospel music. Four instrumentals show the breadth of the sound, from the country-tinged "Squeeze" to the modal and slightly spaced-out "Calypso" to the scorching gospel-infused closer "Run for Your Life." A couple of the slower tunes impede the album's momentum, but at its best Unclassified comes awfully close to capturing the intensity of the Family Band's live shows--which is no small feat indeed. --Marc Greilsamer

Product Description

The debut studio album from Robert Randolph & The Family Band, Unclassified resurrects the spiritual fervor of gospel, gutbucket soul of the blues, earthy power of R&B and raucous energy of rock. Led by pedal steel guitarist Randolph, who has been compared to Stevie Ray Vaughan, Duane Allman and Jimi Hendrix, RRFB was named Best New Artist at the recent W.C. Handy Blues Awards and New Groove of the Year at the Jammy Awards. With Unclassified, the secret is out.

Customer Reviews

Their music has elements of blues, funk, world, and rock.
D. T. Flucht
It's got so much to it, it keeps you jamming all the way through just like their live shows.
Lance Bernard
Meet "Robert Randolph and the Family Band" " I need more love" out funks George Clinton.
Scott B. Saul

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Chris Hohne on September 19, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I first heard of Robert Randolph when I saw them on David Letterman. I wasn't intending to stay up and watch the musical guest as I had never heard of them. But I was still awake when they came on and I was blown away. I Need More Love was the song they performed and it was great. I looked up more info on this group and now I have both Unclassified and Live at the Wetlands in my collection. This CD doesn't have the "power" of the live CD, but it is plenty good. It's one of the few I can put in and play straight through without skipping any songs.
This is a unique blend of Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Allman Brothers, and lots of funk and blues. And the blend works very well in my opinion. This CD goes from upbeat to slow blues and everything in between.
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47 of 54 people found the following review helpful By jasoneducator on February 8, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Yep, Robert Randolph and the Family Band had a breakout performance tonight at the Grammys. Samuel L. Jackson and his preacher thing went a little overboard for me. EWF and Outkast were okay. George Clinton was cool by me until I starts ripping Lil' John! George! Why imitate!
I digress.
In the middle of all this Grammy supergroup shanigans many in our great nation were introduced to Robert Randolph and the Family Band. "I Need More Love" was tight performance of what they represent. Positive, church inspired, funk music with blistering jam band talent. Very, very rare that we hear anything that sounds fresh, new or an extension upon the foundations of black music rather than a recapitulation of established norms. These guys are the real deal. The music will raise your spirits. The talent will awe you at times. Acoustic music with power, fire, technique, soul, love, heart, courage, and power.
That's we need today, and that's what you should purchase.
Support great musicians and cop this album!
5 stars
--SD
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Andre M. on August 5, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Excellent followup for Robert Randolph and the Family Band's underground classic "Live at the Wetlands." Those who liked that CD will be pleased with this one. Most of this consists of tunes that this excellent group has been performing live over the last year, like "Run For Your Life," "Good Times," and "Squeeze." Once again, John Ginty plays the heck out of his organ and Marcus Randolph and Danyel Morgan in fine support (though it would be nice if this one had more of Danyel's soaring vocals).
Overall, this is good stuff, particularly the songs that I have just mentioned. Real get-up and go music with a positive energy not often found in tunes of recent times. "Soul Refershing" is simply beautiful and "Smile" is interesting (Robert's sister Lenesha does the vocals here). "Calypso" (not to be confused with the Harry belafonte tune of the same name) is an interesting novelty. A few of the songs (like "I Need More Love") are somewhat lacking in the right mix of melody and energy that characteris\zes this group-but a so-so song from these guys are better than the best of a lot of what's out there now!
I would suggest that those who may be interested in this start with "Live at the Wetlands" before going on to "Unclassified." That will give you a better preperation for this. Then pick up "The Word" (RR without the Family Band) and the "Sacred Steel" Cds after you listen to "Unclassified." Then see these guys live and you will have hope for the future of American popular music.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A. Calabrese on November 22, 2004
Format: Audio CD
I caught Robert Randolph & the Family Band on Austin City Limits and I was hooked. How refreshing to hear a musician that can actually play his instrument and someone from the Gen X, Gen Y or whatever that isn't a clone of every other band out there. And hey, this guy is not afraid to proclaim his faith and love of people. This band rocks. This bluesy rock revival music just lifts you out of your seat. The band is tight. Robert Randolph is today's answer to Hendrix, Beck, Clapton, etc. Randolph's style is Jeff Beck with a funky edge, in fact I would love to hear Randolph and Beck do I NEED MORE LOVE from the Unclassified CD. This is a great fusion of the pedal steel guitar and blues/rock. Buy this one.
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26 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Patrick Mcleod on August 6, 2003
Format: Audio CD
If you are looking for an introduction to Robert Randolph and the Family Band, do not buy this album. Go buy "Live At the Wetlands." "Live" is everything that makes RRFB great; energetic, evangelic, and electric all combined in a volcanic delivery that will re-write your concepts of music.
"Unclassified" is the bland studio brother to the robust "Live" album. I am curious to know if the producers ever heard RRFB live before they hammered them into their generic Warner Brothers album concept? From listening to this album, I don't think they had heard RRFB live. The vocals on this album are only slightly short of hideous; nearly all are electronically altered in some way. Having traveled many miles to hear RRFB here in Texas and to the Bonnaroo Festival, I've listened to them enough to say that the vocals here are artificial as is the song format. This is not RRFB at their finest.
When you hear them live or hear "Live At the Wetlands," you hear Robert Randolph sing...sing with the pedal steel. You hear joy, energy, love, and faith in the free-wheeling, un-radio friendly song formats, you hear and experience all the things that make RRFB so wonderful. You don't hear those things on "Unclassified," with the exception of the pedal steel. Even though it is mystifyingly subdued on this album, you can still hear the essence of what makes RRFB great; unforunately, it is constrained.
I wanted to rate this at one star but could not bring myself to slander RRFB with that stigma. Three stars for all they have done and all they will do; one star for what they have done on "Unclassified."
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