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Robin McAuley – Standing On The Edge Award winner

Robin McAuley
Standing On The Edge
by Paul LaPlaca at 09 August 2021, 6:23 AM

“Standing On The Edge”  shows a veteran rocker in peak form, fresh on the heels of 2020’s supergroup, BLACK SWAN. Robin McAuley  has been a well known vocalist for decades, from his time with legendary guitarist Michael Shenker to his tenure in the popular Vegas act, RAIDING THE ROCK VAULT, McAuley never fails to deliver a powerful and controlled vocal performance. This latest release is no exception, his tone and melodies are impeccable and this whole album is full of melodic rock hooks.

The opening track, “Thy Will Be Done” is thick with dynamics, powerful harmonies, and bell-tone, 80’s keyboards. His vocal delivery is laid back and relaxed, full of the confidence of a long and successful career. “Standing On The Edge” walks a fine line between DOKKEN homage and rip-off but the guitar work is outstanding either way. Unfortunately, the song’s accompanying video is a bit low budget, Robin’s vocal performance video looks like it was shot in his garage, the sync is off, and overall looks subpar.

“Late December”  is an 80’s power ballad with syruppy keyboards but a huge, uplifting chorus and hook. “Do You Remember” is a ballsy rocker complete with growling organ and an intricate solo. “Chosen Few” starts with a smokey, vibrato guitar and plows through to a punchy chorus. Solo is a bluesy, strat fueled cascade of licks that is tastefully shreddy. “Supposed To Do Now” features a guest appearance from HEART’S Howard Leese but it’s an odd production choice to have his guitar sound so tame in comparison to the rest of the album. However, it’s a great performance from one of the most important players to grace the FM airways with so many familiar classics.

“Like A Ghost” has a great mid-song break that is all 70’s prog with angelic vocals and a lovely organ part that is reminiscent of early GENESIS or JETHRO TULL. “Running Out Of Time” completes the track list with a strong finish, a high energy rocker full of choppy chords and ghostly keyboard pads. Chorus is anthemic and a true fist-pumper. Overall, “Standing On The Edge” has it’s hits and misses but what I would consider the low points (dated 80’s keyboards and softer tracks) may be the things that make AOR and Melodic Rock fans swoon. The production is near-perfect, with a high gloss polish and shine. It sounds huge without being overly hyped. Bottom line is, McAuley is undeniably a master at writing well-crafted melodies, harmonies and hooks. His voice is rich and powerful and it is uplifting and invigorating to hear him still at it.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Thy Will Be Done
2. Standing on the Edge
3. Late December
4. Do You Remember
5. Say Goodbye
6. Chosen Few
7. Run Away
8. Supposed To Do Now
9. Wanna Take A Ride
10. Like A Ghost
11. Running Out Of Time
Lineup:
Robin McAuley – Vocals
Andrea Seveso – Guitar
Alessandro Del Vecchio – Bass/ Keys
Nicholas Papapicco – Drums
Record Label: Frontiers Music
     


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