Black Stone Cherry: Magic Mountain
I first heard of Black Stone Cherry in 2011 with their third album Between the Devil & the Deep Blue Sea. I freakin’ love these guys. I’ve been listening to Between the Devil since it’s release. The songs only get better with age! Now… three years later BSC takes on a trip to Magic Mountain. The only thing…. there’s no loveable mouse on this Magic Mountain.
The CD was released May 6th 2014. Magic Mountain has thirteen tracks, and every single one is pretty much a homerun for the southern rockers! Now I will preface this by saying that I’m pretty much a “straight edge”. Well I HAVE had alcohol in the past, but I NEVER have NOR WILL I EVER Smoke cigarettes or do drugs. To this day I don’t even drink alcohol at all. So you might be asking, well then WHY do you like the songs on this album? Because most of them talk about drinking, and smokin’ weed. JUST because I DON’T do those things, doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate great rock music. I truly believe most rock bands these days tell stories with their songs. Black Stone Cherry is no different.
There are songs on Magic Mountain that have nothing to do with drinking and drug use. For instance Never Surrender which is Track 7 on the album. What I love about Magic Mountain is that it’s a combination of multiple rock styles. Some reviewers might say, “the band doesn’t know what kind of rockers they want to be.” I’d severely disagree with that. Since their debut album 8 years ago BSC has known who they are the entire time. SURE I haven’t been exposed to them in all that time, however from just listening to Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea… and hearing snippets from their other tracks… I can safely say that they know exactly where they wanna be in rock.
Here is the track listing for Magic Mountain:
1. Holding On…To Letting Go
2. Peace Pipe
3. Bad Luck & Hard Love
4. Me and Mary Jane
6. Magic Mountain
7. Never Surrender
8. Blow My Mind
10. Fiesta Del Fuego
11. Dance Girl
12. Hollywood in Kentucky
13. Remember Me
BEST BUY EXCLUSIVE: Two Bonus Tracks
14. Leave Your World Behind
So thirteen tracks… or fifteen if you get the Best Buy CD! All with their own sound and feeling to them. Some are hard rockin’ hits, while others are slow and methodical southern rockin’ tunes. Me & Mary Jane was the first single, and if it wasn’t talking about THAT Mary Jane… I would have sworn that Sony might have used this in Amazing Spider-Man 2! LOL!!! I do enjoy Me & Mary Jane as the first single, and it has a catchy tune to it, so that’s a good thing! Bad Luck & Hard Love is another favorite, because parts of that song speak to a few moments in my past. Runaway, Sometimes, and Remember Me are the three tracks that I really enjoy. Because they all tell very interesting stories. The differing rock styles on each track, make the album unique, and it all comes together very well!!! However my number one favorite track so far as I’ve been listening to Magic Mountain is Dance Girl. Everything that the band has done with that song is just so damn infectious. It gets into my brain, and I can’t stop singing along. Even though I can’t carry a tune to save my life. So I have the bonus track edition, and even though I’ve been listening to the album for the past two weeks on streaming over at Yahoo music. I had not heard Leave Your World Behind and Revolutionize. After listening to them… I like them, but they seem like an after thought to the main thirteen tracks.
I’m not saying the band didn’t put all the effort that they could into them. But Leave Your World Behind doesn’t really fit coming after Remember Me. I’m not sure where I’d place it on the album, but it’s weird coming after the thirteenth track. I do however like Leave Your World Behind and Revolutionize on their own.
You might also be reading this and wondering, but Mike…. HOW did you listen the album before it’s official release? WELL the BAND along with RoadRunner Records released it early on Yahoo Music instant streaming. I’ve listened to it over and over since that time, and you can hear it here:
It’s VERY RARE for me to listen to albums cover to cover… as the bands have intended them to be. I sometimes will take my favorite tracks and add just those to a playlist. Or I’ll rearrange the order and see if I like it better the way I arrange it. With Magic Mountain the boys of Black Stone Chery have crafted something superbly entertaining!!! There is no need to change the order that the tracks were put in!!! OK sure I complained a bit about the overuse of alcohol and drug lyrics, but I’m not that much of a prude… that I’d take points off of my rating. The one thing I did do since MM’s Bonus track version has fifeen tracks is that I wanted to see what it would sound like compared to Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea. So I made a playlist incorporating all 30 tracks… In the order that they appear on the album, but with on exception. That being a arranged them in Track 1 from Between and Track 1 from Magic… So they still will play in the order intended, but they are more mixed together now. After listening to this self created playlist, I have to say I enjoy each of the albums independently of each other. As far as the overtones of smokin’ weed and all that… in the grand scheme of things it’s just what the band wanted to write about this time around. As I said before each song tells a story…. and that’s what matters to me. These guys made the wait between the last album and this well worth it. Magic Mountain will take you to new heights as you listen to it!!!! In the end I give it the rating of four and a half stars outta five. Get this album, and be preparted to climb your own Magic Mountain!