Lonely Robot is John Mitchell. It is his first solo album with a little help from some friends. You will know John from his inclusion in other bands such as It Bites, Frost* and Arena. John plays most of the instruments on this release but enlisted the talent of Craig Blundel on drums. Nick Beggs pops up on bass and Steve Hogarth appears too but playing the piano and some backing vocals. Heather Findlay (ex-Mostly Autumn) and Kim Seviour (Touchstone) provide some female vocal and Peter Cox of Go West fame in the 1980s sings on a track.
This is a work by someone who knows what they are doing and knows that they do it well. The songwriting is strong and the playing is meticulous. It would sit well alongside Dave Kerzner's new album New World in so much as it tells a story, is easy to listen to and keeps the listener interested to the end.
The first track Airlock centres around a simple piano riff that grows with the introduction of power chords. It is a stunning opening to the album. God Vs Man introduces vocals and powers along nicely. The boy In The Radio harks back a little 80s power pop. The playing is tight and full of passion. The first slow song is Why Do We Stay which is a duet with Heather Findlay. The song Lonely Robot contains some nice light and shade with a powerful chorus. A Godless Sea is a piano and guitar led track that has a Pink Floyd kind of feel about it. Oubliette takes us back to a standard song format with a catchy chorus and vocals from Kim Seviour. Construct Obstruct drives along and reminds me of Yes circa 90125 (1983). Are We Copies is lead by synths and is yet another contrasting style on this album. Humans Being features Nik Kershaw on guitar. It is a slow song in 6/8 time with some great atmospheric vocals. Finally we come to The Red Balloon. A quiet little piano and vocal song that finishes off a really nice album.
This album deserves a listen. If you like your prog melodic and with some catchy tunes then this is for you.
**** Dave Smith
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