Inside Out [Release date 17.07.20]
In true Douglas Adams fashion Lonely Robot are back with their fourth album in a trilogy. Actually the first three albums were part of the space trilogy, whereas ‘Feelings Are Good’ as John Mitchell explains “is a bit of a departure from the first three Lonely Robot albums or ‘The Astronaut Trilogy’ as it has now lovingly become known…I wanted to explore more personal themes and the songs are very much about individual experiences and narratives that I believe had been the cornerstones, good and bad, to my life. The long tall and short of it is that we’re back on planet Earth, and I have a personal lyrical axe to grind!”
All the instruments and effects are handled by John Mitchell, with Craig Blundell on drums.
The title track opens the album, the computerised vocals leading nicely into ‘Into The Lo-Fi’, a proper belter of a tune. From the keys through to the drums, this is all that is good and great about the music of Lonely Robot.
‘Spiders’ is suitably horrific in the lyrics (in a good way!), a heavy melody and chorus that will stick in your head after just one play. No real surprise then that this song has been chosen as lead song from the album.
‘Crystalline’ is one of those heart felt, yet at the same time heart-breaking, songs John Mitchell does so well. The keys, strings and melody are simply stunning. There is also an orchestral version of this song on the album, which adds a little more pomp to the proceedings.
There is a hint of EDM (electronic dance music – I had to search it up) on ‘Keeping People As Pets’, with its keys and hypnotic beat. Again the music reveals more upon each listen. There is plenty going on in the album and chances are you will hear a new bit on each subsequent listen.
Closing the album is the simply beautiful ‘Grief Is The Price Of Love’. A song that mixes love and loss with equal measure, what a truly magnificently moving one minute twenty six seconds of music.
Mention to the two orchestral versions that are an added bonus. ‘The Silent Life’ has a quieter refrain where the strings build slowly and add greatly to the gentle vocal. ‘Crystalline’, as previously mentioned, has a little more pomp and grandiose cinematic feel.
A personal album from the artist in many aspects, however one that resonates with us all in some way. Albums like this come along all too rarely, being on the one hand a melodic delight and also one that has deeper, longer lasting impacts from its lyrical side. An album of the year. ****1/2
Reviews by Jason Ritchie
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