Rolling Stone - 10/29/92, p.703 Stars
- Good - "...as strong as ever...Cray's soloing is superb throughout...an album rife with commanding performances..."
Entertainment Weekly - 9/25/92, p.66
"...a foray into Stax-style soul...Cray showcases a sly croon somewhere between Sam Moore (of Sam & Dave) and Johnnie Taylor. And that's no faint praise..." - Rating: B+
Q - 10/92, p.823 Stars
- Good - "...the winning formula of Cray's mobile soul voice and fastidious guitar tone, shored up by the Stax-era sound of the Memphis Horns remains intact..."
Down Beat - 12/92, p.543.5 Stars
- Good Plus - "...Cray puts the blues in his back pocket and digs into a more overtly soul-minded approach...His soulful vocal gymnastics and spiky licks are enveloped in a warm thicket of organ and punctuations from the Memphis Horns..."
Robert Cray Band: Robert Cray (vocals, guitar); Tim Kaihatsu (guitar); Jim Pugh (keyboards); Karl Sevareid (bass); Kevin Hayes (drums).
The Memphis Horns: Andrew Love (tenor saxophone); Wayne Jackson (trumpet, trombone).
When Robert Cray recorded 1992's I WAS WARNED, he went with the same line-up that appeared on the wonderfully Stax-soaked MIDNIGHT STROLL. The only exception was Karl Sevareid replacing long-time bass player Richard Cousins. With the Memphis Horns on hand once again, Cray's efforts yielded yet another batch of songs detailing the universal ups and downs found within the slippery slopes of love.
The tango-like cadence Cray applies to the title track adds an appropriate amount of foreboding for the love-struck fool at the center of this tale, while guitarist Tim Kaihatsu's contribution, "Just A Loser," could easily be the aftermath of the aforementioned doom. More than any of Cray's other albums, I WAS WARNED is hip-deep in the losing end of love. Cray's approach to loss ranged from the subtle plea for another chance in "The Price I Pay" to defiance on the mannered cheekiness of "Won The Battle." The Memphis Horns earn their salt on the Otis Redding-inspired "A Whole Lotta Pride" and the heart wrenching "He Don't Live Here Anymore," in which the estrangement is with a patriarch rather than a lover.