|Robin Beck Do You Miss Me||Frontiers Records|
Robin Beck has one of those truly sexy lead vocals that you just love to listen to. Along with T'Pau, Fiona and 80's Heart, she has been a favourite for some time.|
After several years in the wilderness, Robin re-appeared last year with the new solo album Wonderland. A more pop/contemporary release, it disappeared before it even got going, thanks largely to lousy promotion.
It was a fine release – very smooth – but perhaps traditional AOR fans will be more welcoming of this release, which sees Robin back on old turf – solid melodic rock in the vein of her best known record Trouble Or Nothin'.
Do You Miss Me relies on high-tech AOR mixed with some mellower ballads which run close to the style of her other acclaimed record Human Instinct. Overall, this is a fine return to form, but it also has a couple of short comings.
The main issue I have is the production and musical backing from Fabrizio Grossi. While enthusiastic for his first 4 or 5 releases in control, I am tiring of his overall sound and style – especially the guitar tone.
Musically speaking this record sounds exactly the same as Shadows Fade, Tommy Funderburk and especially the James Christian record. That, however, is good news for the many fans of those releases.
Most people will be aware Robin's husband is the great James Christian, so comparisons to his recent solo album should not be a surprise – she lent a hand with backing vocals there and James repays the favor here (with Lisa Dalbello also contributing!)
Sound issue aside, there are some memorable songs within the record.
That guitar sound I spoke of dominates Do You Miss Me, but it remains a strong track with some lush harmony vocals boosting the sexy and catchy chorus vocal.
Walk On The Moon is mellower and not as instant, but Your Love Is Tough kicks in with a bit more angst and a raw, emotional vocal.
The rock ballad Safest Place (I Wanna Be Strong) features an outstanding vocal and is one of my favourite tracks from the album.
Another strong vocal drives the uptempo rocker What About Us. Coming Back For More also impresses as does the layered and catchy Takin' A Ride, which has a somewhat updated feel to it.
Another album highlight closes the album. Bring it Back features an emotional and moody vocal and one of the better chorus hooks of the album.
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