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Lonely Robot - Feelings are Good Award winner

Lonely Robot
Feelings are Good
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 30 June 2020, 8:42 AM

LONELY ROBOT is the brainchild of producer and musician John Mitchell. In regard to their fourth album, John explains, “Feelings are Good” is a bit of a departure from the first three Lonely Robot albums or “The Astronaut Trilogy” as it has now lovingly become known”, John explains. “On “Feelings are Good,” 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!” The album contains twelve tracks.

The title track leads us off…with electronically tuned vocals and an easy-listening vibe, segueing into “Into the Lo-Fi.” The melodies are very charming here, and you can tell the band is talented. They are really unabashed on how they are delivered here as well…it’s very catchy and it sounds like something you could hear on the radio, but with obvious substance. “Spiders” is an interesting song. Keys come through strong here, as do the guitars. This song is a bit on the heavier side, and a bit darker as well, but the chorus is big and in your face. The ominous tones come through big here as well, along with that beautiful ambient passage of bass notes, keys and lead guitar.

“Crystalline” opens with pretty piano notes and vocals. This is a thoughtful song that really makes you think of many different things. “As winter comes, I am sinking in snow, as my memories drown in the lake…all this time, I thought I was a child on the inside.” The lyrics are quite poignant. This song stirs up emotions I didn’t even know I had. “Life is a Sine Wane” is the longest on the album, at over six minutes in length. The structure here reminds me of the Polish Progressive band XANADU. It’s heavy with electronica but also lighter, more emotionally powerful elements. What an odd but totally pleasing sound here.

“Armour for my Heart” starts off with a darker rhythm and then the keys splash over you like a big ocean wave that is gone as quickly as it started. That chorus is absolutely wonderful, with a big punch, and John obviously has a commanding sense of melody and songwriting. The sentiment is echoed in the guitar solo. “Suburbia” opens with keys and bass, and some light drumming. The vocals are hushed as the guitar joins in. Once again, the big push of emotion comes in the chorus. It’s almost overwhelming. It comes to a head during the guitar solo…really striking stuff here. “The Silent Life” opens with tender piano notes and cello. The vocals come in, smooth and unassuming at first. It has such a charming but gentle touch…as the title suggests. The fullness of the chorus is close to bringing me to tears.

“Keeping People as Pets” features some heavy electronica in the opening and a slightly faster pace. They keys take you on a wormhole to an outer dimension of the universe. Those soulful bass guitar notes keep the track moving forward. The spoken words are hard to make out, but I keep hearing about “the abuser” and “the victim.” “Army of One” opens with a marching beat, and settle into a mid-tempo groove, with some darker tones. “Let’s go to war” he croons, as the electronica becomes heavy. “Grief is the Price of Love” is a short, one-minute song with just sweet acoustic guitar and vocals. “She is gone now…” he croons. “There is just no escaping…grief is the price of love.” The two orchestral versions that close the album are wonderful reminders of how great this album is.

Feelings are good sums up “Feelings are Good” quite well. John takes every inch of his souls and pours it into his compositions. They are sweet, tender, charming and catchy. The album will bleed you dry, tear you to pieces, and then slowly put you back together again, coming out just a bit on a better side than before you heard it. This is quality songwriting, and attention to details. The album is exactly as John described it above, a personal collection of his experiences and narratives, and I am sure glad that he shared them with us here.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Feeling are Good
2. Into the Lo-Fi
3. Spiders
4. Crystalline
5. Life is a Sine Wave
6. Armour for my Heart
7. Suburbia
8. The Silent Life
9. Keeping People as Pets
10. Army of One
11. Grief is the Price of Love
12. The Silent Life (Orchestral Version)
13. Crystalline (Orchestral Version)
Lineup:
John Mitchell
Craig Blundell
Steve Vantsis
Liam Holmes
Record Label: InsideOut Music
     


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Edited 08 July 2020
 

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