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George; Robin, And Dangerous Music: Painful Kiss

It's only right to start this review of the latest release in the impressive catalogue of guitarist, singer and much in demand songwriter Robin George, by mentioning that after interviewing Robin and reviewing his releases over the years, I was lucky enough to be asked to contribute the liner notes to his latest collection of songs, Painful Kiss.

However, involved or not, I'm a fan of Robin's music and having been fortunate enough to live with these songs for quite some time now, I've slowly come to the conclusion that even taking into account the Dangerous Music debut, the wonderful LovePower & Peace 'sharing project' and collaborations with the likes of Glenn Hughes, Phil Lynott, Pete Haycock of The Climax Blues Band and Diamond Head pair Sean Harris and Nick Tart, Painful Kiss may well be my favourite. The idea behind the album is a simple one and yet for Robin to take the songs that he's written that have been most covered by others (there are many, many more) and present his definitive takes on them, is inspired.

Flanked by long time collaborators Charlie Morgan on drums and Charley Charlesworth on bass (the trio becoming Dangerous Music, the band) and with guests including vocal stars Jacquie Williams, Ruby Turner and Vix Fuzzboz, saxophonist Mel Collins and much missed guitarist Pete Haycock alongside cameos from Pete Way (UFO), Arthur Brown (from The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown), Spike (Quireboys), Sean Harris and Nick Tart, as ever on a Robin George album, the cast list is top notch. However there's no denying the star here and that's Robin himself, his guitar playing simply sublime and his vocals full of character and emotion. In fact, in that latter department, I'd suggest he's never sounded better.

The twelve tracks presented cover a variety of attacks all wrapped up in the memorable, melodic style that has always been Robin's trademark; rock, soul, funk, blues, pop all frequent touching points. My own personal highlights arrive in the shape of the dramatic "Cocoon", Robin's vocals passionate yet precise, while the chorus is an absolute delight. "Pride" provides a more funky flirt, Charlesworth starring on bass as Robin's guitar stabs prove irresistible, while the big chant of "The American Way" is a classic slice of pop rock, with a serious heart and insightful message. "Love Power And Peace", a song paying tribute to the love, power and peace in the heart of every woman, is one of the most memorable you could hope to hear, its chorus staying in the mind long after, while closing the album out with the trio of "World", "Heaven" and "Oxygen" is inspired, the three showing the breadth of styles and superb musicianship you can expect to find on Painful Kiss.

If you've never encountered the work of Robin George before, I've no hesitation in suggesting that Painful Kiss is a wonderful place to start. For those more acquainted with his impressive output, the chance to hear some old favourites alongside some newer numbers given the full Robin George treatment, will prove simply too good to pass up.

Track Listing
1. Painful Kiss
2. Lonesome Daze
3. Catarina
4. The Rubicon
5. Cocoon
6. Pride
7. The American Way
8. Bluesong
9. Love Power And Peace
10. World
11. Heaven
12. Oxygen

Added: May 27th 2016
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Painful Kiss at Angel Air
Hits: 1091
Language: english

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