In The Big Dream, John Mitchell, producer, multi-instrumentalist, and creator of the Lonely Robot project, has awakened his astronaut from the first album Please Come Home, taking him out of cryogenic sleep. That's not all that particularly novel, but where the astronaut now finds himself is. As Mitchell explains, "... he's no longer in space. Instead, he finds himself in a woodland area, where he comes across people who have animal heads! It's a little surreal, and I suppose it mirrors 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' to some extent. This is something of a solipsistic haze, for want of a better description!" Let the weirdness ensue.
But not really. Musically, Mitchell doesn't venture far from his previous album, his classic melodic progressive rock roots, or his influences from his current bands which include Frost*, It Bites, Kino, and Arena. I'm not sure how much I need to mention in review. Mitchell offers a track-by-track explanation in the video below, which is likely more intelligent and interesting than anything I have to say. Yet, there's many musical aspects of Mitchell's Lonely Robot music that I enjoy.
One is simply his voice and vocal arrangements as Mitchell has a melodic, yet deliberate, voice. Following the melodies and wrapped in the keyboards, the vocal arrangements have a largeness (Sigma) to a full bodied warmth (In Floral Green, False Lights). Also, Mitchell is a master at using his keyboards to create atmosphere, whether for basic synth orchestration or something more ethereal, fitting his astronaut. Another fine aspect of the album is Mitchell's song placement. For instance, in the middle there's the juxtaposition of the heavier Everglow against the following False Lights. (That latter song has, by far, the best vocal arrangement here.) Yet, that contrast informs other songs, notably the title track, which has large lush parts balanced against gentler segues. Finally, and next to his vocals, I really enjoy Mitchell's guitar lines. Without sounding like David Gilmour, he follows that certain style where the solos are are large, rising to soar, even atmospheric.
The conclusion is rather simple. With The Big Dream, Mitchell's Lonely Robot has produced a another creative and entertaining album of melodic progressive rock. If you liked the last album, or most anything he has done with his many current bands, you will like this album. Recommended.
With The Big Dream, Mitchell's Lonely Robot has produced a another creative and entertaining album of melodic progressive rock. If you liked the last album, or most anything he has done with his many current bands, you will like this album. Recommended.
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