With Amorica, the Black Crowes began developing a distinctive sound, shading their Stonesy Southern boogie with a variety of rootsy and psychedelic overtones. But where Amorica was rich with kaleidescopic colors, Three Snakes and One Charm is stripped-down and direct. Sure, it has a punchy, muscular sound that is, if anything, more eclectic than its predecessor, but the production is distressingly monotonous and the songs lack strong hooks. Even with its faults, Three Snakes and One Charm is a winning album, mainly because the Black Crowes' musicianship continues to deepen -- the musical fusions and eclecticism are seamless, particularly from guitarist Rich Robinson. Their musicianship would be even more impressive if the songs were equal in.quality.