LONELY ROBOT – Please Come Home

LONELY ROBOT – Please Come Home

A project from mastermind producer, guitarist and vocalist John Mitchell (It Bites, Frost, Arena), Lonely Robot explores atmospheric and progressive textures along with science fiction/ human race lyrics on the debut album "Please Come Home". Bassist Nick Beggs and drummer Craig Blundell are the main components helping to flesh out the ideas, along with guest support from Peter Cox (Go West), Nik Kershaw, Steve Hogarth (Marillion), and narration from British actor Lee Ingleby among others.

The songwriting has a vibrant urgency, often balancing out John’s comfortable melodic voice (I hear a lot of Seal believe it or not) with music that can straddle AOR and progressive rock lines. "The Boy in the Radio" for instance starts very quietly as a soft keyboard pattern gives way to Craig’s consistent propulsive drum part as John weaves in and out between clean, echoing type work on the guitar and power chords reminiscent of classic Rush or Enchant. "Airlock" on the other hand has a darker, subdued quality as John showcases a little bit of his arpeggio prowess, the piano and background howling setting up the scene in almost a dramatic, tension filled cinematic pattern.

Lonely Robot can be a study in contrast- I think a lot of the atmospheric / sci-fi feel comes in not only from the words, but often the lighter parts. Check out the sparse acoustic guitar and piano lines for the instrumental section of the 8 minute plus "Lonely Robot" for instance, you could almost feel the weightlessness of space taking place as the arrangement surges forward. Or the playful piano/ guitar synchronization during "Construct Obstruct", The Police meets U2 oriented dotted note ringing very uplifting while John’s 80’s oriented melodies keep your toes tapping. John as a guitar player has all the right tools and technique, balancing out the obvious intricate details with proper emotional ability, channeling this in the right direction to be musical and not perform over non-musician minds.

"Please Come Home" is an 11 track, 58 minute record that should appeal to those on the more commercial fringes of progressive rock – very song oriented and I hope not a one off for John and his project mates, as I’d like to see where this could go on a follow up effort.