I always loved every band/project - (It Bites) (Frost) (Kino) (Arena) (Urbane) and of course Lonely Robot - that John Mitchell (guitar, vocals) participated in. Now he releases his second album with Lonely Robot called The Big Dream and his live band now consists of Craig Blundell (drums), Steve Vantsis (bass guitar) and Lian Holmes (keyboards).
The Big Dream is not a concept album, however there is a main theme running through it with The Astronaut as central character just like on Lonely Robot's debut Please Come Home (2015, see review). Obviously, if you liked that album, and you should actually, then you can buy this album without even listening to it; as it has the same musical level as its predecessor. The music of Mitchell adds colour to the storytelling in the record, although Mitchell must be careful that he does not repeat certain melodies and hooks too often. Awakenings is probably the “heaviest” track filled with rocky guitars, excellent drumming and beautiful, melodic vocals, while the excellent instrumental title track is also rather heavy for the kind of progressive rock Mitchell “normally” plays and composes. Sigma and Everglow are very melodic, atmospheric and sheer bliss, especially the chorus of Sigma is utterly addictive. Mitchell's guitar riffs, hooks, melodies and solos are again breath taking and his best guitar solo on this album can be heard in Hello World Goodbye.
The Big Dream is an essential prog rock album and if you are a true prog snob, I do not know if that word even exists, then you must buy this album as Lonely Robot's second album is a true satisfying piece of work of a great musician and composer. The Big Dream is absolutely not a repetition of Lonely Robot's debut album Please Come Home, it is the ongoing realisation of Mitchell's artistic aspirations and ambitions and I love it!!
**** Martien Koolen (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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