You can depend on the prolific Robin Trower dropping a new album every year or two. Here, his blues-drenched vibrato and Strat-through-Marshall tone are front and center, peppered with an array of Fulltone stompboxes. He also plays most of the bass, though Livingstone Brown thumps four-string on some songs.
An important change this time is Trower relinquishing vocals to longtime tour singer Richard Watts – it’s a significant move, as the songs were admittedly out of Trower’s range, and Watts’ strong voice makes the album markedly better.
Doing what he does best, Trower lends especially emotive touches on the title track, with deft wah accents and tasteful bends, “Deadly Kiss” breathes hypnotically over a deep soul-funk groove, rich riffs illuminate the catchy “Ball of Fire,” and the jazzy feel of “Birdsong” includes clean rhythm strumming. Trower’s exquisite tone balances the pop-tinged melody of “Waiting for the Rain to Fall.” The speedy “Cloud Across the Sun” features surprisingly distorted chords.
Now 77, Trower keeps progressing, yet never strays far from his iconic sound – that’s why he’s been a guitar hero for a half century. While not a breakthrough, No More Worlds to Conquer is a sturdy, tone-tasty effort.
This article originally appeared in VG’s July 2022 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.