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Lonely Robot: Feelings Are Good

Feelings Are Good proclaims Lonely Robot man John Mitchell and yet with song titles such as “Armour For My Heart”, “Grief Is The Price Of Love” and “Keeping People As Pets” on his fourth outing under this ‘band’ name, I’m not sure he believes it. Thankfully the music that surrounds these ideals is much more jovial, even if it remains serious, engaging and from the heart.

Feelings Are Good is also the first of Mitchell’s releases to arrive since the ‘lonely robot’ triple album concept story wrapped up and as such it does undoubtedly find him in much more candid and personal mode. In fact the man himself, it is suggested in the promo-blurb, has an axe to grind and he’s certainly making the sparks fly. Handling almost all of the song writing, recording, performing and production on his own, it’s only drummer Craig Blundell (Frost*/Steven Wilson) who comes along for the ride, with one of the hottest percussive properties in the prog population providing exactly the sort of performance we’ve come to expect. That said, Feelings doesn’t suddenly reinvent the Lonely Robot blueprint, with Mitchell’s unmistakably intricate and intriguing trademark sounds firmly in evidence across this 11 (well, 13 if you get the expanded version) song outing.

The title track opens proceedings with synthed voice announcing the album’s title, if not necessarily in a fashion that pulls back the curtain on what the journey ahead entails. “Into The Lo-Fi” yearns for the past and decries the here, now and immediately era we seem to live in, before the angularly jarring “Spiders” takes Mitchell’s signature and weaves a web that a more commercial King Crimson may have caught their prey in. Mitchell himself may often be found talking down his singing abilities and yet for me his honest vocal approach always adds a hugely emotional thrust to the themes he creates and the almost anguished cries here are no exception. Cleverly counterpointing the more instant, or bullish moments, the likes of “Crystalline” bring a more mysterious air, with piano and swooping atmospheres the order of the day as a soaring guitar solo (an aspect that shines throughout this album) takes that mood and heads for the heavens with it. Although it’s the equally plaintive “The Silent Life” that takes up this ethos and drops the album’s most memorable chorus around it - strings used as a sumptuous surround. And yet equally impactful is the much more 80s prog-pop of “Keeping People As Pets” and energetically - if deceptively prog rooted - “Suburbia”.

Any concerns that Lonely Robot waving goodbye to the lonely robot himself would result in this project losing its muse are cast aside with confident abandon here. Instead, if anything, Feelings Are Good benefits from moving on from those constraints while still embracing the foundations on which that heritage was built.


Track Listing
1. Feelings 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)

Added: September 6th 2020
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Score:
Related Link: Lonely Robot online
Hits: 198
Language: english

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