Still Fighting . . .
Released by Angel Air Music on 18 May 2018, and reviewed by Brian McGowan
Robin George‘s career has been well documented. The archetypal nearly man – the usual mix of talent, high points and near misses – songs covered by Robert Plant, Glenn Hughes, short lived musical partnerships with David Byron and Phil Lynott, and on and on.
The stark fact that those opportunities have gone and his time has passed hasn’t stopped George from making great melodic rock. The niche maybe small but George fits it like the proverbial glove.
Every track is the same – a grinding clang of tuneful guitars, heavy duty beats and gorgeous melodies, snaking and spiralling around a production that combines grit and sophistication in equal measure. And every track is different – ‘Rush’ and ‘Dancing Shoes Again’ percolate eighties’ AOR through colourful filters of seventies glam rock – Barrett meets Bolan confections; ‘Dangerous Daisy’ suddenly, delightfully hauls a great chorus from the darkness into the light, and ‘Rogue Angel’, the title track, proves that ‘Heartline’s great riff has never died, and in fact has no plans to fade away.
Over the years, since debut solo album, Dangerous Games (1985), George’s songs and production have gained an instantly identifiable style. Themes of love, peace and perseverance are now hardwired into his lyrics… touchingly referring to maternal inspiration on ‘Play Nice’, and resurrecting ‘Go Down Fighting’s ode to the common man, on this 2018 version. Musically, he has perfected the “Alien” technique, where great melodies burst forth from an arrangement seemingly stitched together from fragments of guitar, bass and drum harmonies… especially effective on ‘Surreal Dream’ and ‘Wild Eyed Beauty Queen’.
Where so many Eighties AOR survivors come back with albums mired in the sound of dead horses being flogged, George gives the genre’s faded grandeur a fresh coat of paint.
- Wild Eyed Beauty Queen
- Dangerous Daisy
- Rogue Angel
- Play Nice
- Go Down Fighting 2018
- Dancing Shoes Again
- Surreal Dream
- Dark&Stormy Night
- Love Is Blind