Inside Out www.insideout.de [Released 23.02.15]
Lonely Robot is the new project from producer, guitarist and vocalist John Mitchell (Kino/It Bites/Frost*/Arena). He is backed by a rhythm section of Nick Beggs (Steve Hackett/Kajagoogoo) on bass and Craig Blundell on drums, with plenty of guests including Marillion’s Steve Hogarth, Nik Kershaw, Go West’s Peter Cox and Jem Godfrey (Frost*).
Opening instrumental ‘Airlock’ sets the scene nicely, as the album explores John Mitchell’s fascination with space and space travel. Atmospheric and big on the musical bombast, this is perfect for a movie soundtrack.
‘Lonely Robot’ is an eight minute prog rock tour de force veering from quiet vocal passages through to heavy instrumental break outs. Actor Lee Ingleby (Harry Potter films) provides the narration on this and ‘A Godless Sea’.
I simply LOVE ‘The Boy In The Radio’ with Go West’s Peter Cox on lead vocals, where pop rock meets prog in a very catchy song, perfect for radio! Heather Findlay duets with John Mitchell on the mournful ‘Why Do We Stay?’.
On ‘Oubliette’ again the song highlight’s Mitchell’s uncanny knack of melding catchy pop choruses with some full on progressive rock. Touchstone’s Kim Seviour guests on this one.
‘Construct Obstruct’ could sit nicely on an It Bites album, from the keys through to the prog/pop feel of the music, another album highlight and marvel at the guitar playing on the outro of this song.
Get you air keyboards out for ‘Are We Copies?’, the dark verses lead into the immense chorus. How does he keep penning these wonderful prog songs that have the melody to appeal to a wider audience? Amazing stuff. Quick mention for ‘Red Balloon’, a short piece to end the album on a high with a moving lyric. Very plaintive with just John Mitchell’s voice backed by piano.
Fan-bloody-tastic! This is as good as the Kino album, my all time favourite album featuring John Mitchell (yes it is even better than the Arena, Frost* or It Bites albums he appears on). The whole space and lonely robot theme running through the album really draws the listener in, mission accomplished. *****
Review by Jason Ritchie
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