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Lonely Robot - 'The Big Dream' Hot

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Written by Central Electronic Brain     September 19, 2017    
 
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The melodies are good, the choruses are strong and the guitar work leaves you wanting more.

Having long been an admirer of John Mitchell's work (for Lonely Robot is none other) with Arena and his many other incarnations, I know he wears many hats. Lonely Robot is his latest project and this is the second album under that moniker. I knew one thing even before I pressed play... that I was going to get something intelligent, sensitive, intriguing and melodic.

I'd intended to say that I think this album is better than the first. It's a bit different to 'Please Come Home' despite having the same central character and overall theme (as opposed to being a "full" concept). However, what I eventually concluded was that this follow-up is more accessible and easier to get into. Those familiar with '...Home' will be aware of the story, therefore I've opted not to say anything and spoil it.

As expected, the music is quite varied, going from the opener 'Prologue (Deep Sleep)', a piano-led instrumental with a forties-sounding narrative, to 'Awakenings' which has quite a heavy sounding start... and something else? After a few listens I think I've pinned down what that is. This track, along with 'Sigma' and 'False Lights' in particular, remind me very much of Genesis with Ray Wilson. This feeling is strengthened over the whole album by Craig Blundell's gargantuan drumming. 'In Floral Green' is effectively the album's ballad, being gentler sounding with Mitchell hitting Falsetto on the brilliantly memorable chorus.

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He then goes Peter Gabriel-esque with 'The Divine Art Of Being' which has a strong 'Biko' feel to it, whereas 'Everglow' has a big sound with a vastness that reminded me somewhat of 'Fly On A Windshield'. 'Symbolic' is probably the hardest one to get your head around, and by the same token possibly the most Progressive track given there are a lot of different things happening, while the title track is hugely dramatic, instrumental and everything I love about Progressive Rock. 'Hello World Goodbye' finds Mitchell exhibiting more aspects and qualities of Gabriel's voice, and bearing in mind you'll also find some female vocals here, it recalls the latter's 'Don't Give Up' effort with Kate Bush. 'Epilogue (Sea Beams)' is a short instrumental that neatly closes the album.

This is a really good release with everything I expected. The melodies are good, the choruses are strong and the guitar work leaves you wanting more. With all the bases covered, what more could you ask for?

Andy Brailsford

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