Lonely Robot - The Big Dream - album review
It is surprising that John Mitchell finds time to be able to record a new album between his Frost*y sojourns and his commitments with running his own studio (It Bites are on hiatus at the moment) but when he gets going he is very industrious and here he has produced another absolute cracker.
“I have often puzzled… what it must be like to go to sleep and never wake up, to simply not be there forever and ever” says 60’s philosopher Alan Watts in the opening piece Prologue (Deep Sleep) on this, John Mitchell’s second Lonely Robot project – The Big Dream. His inner geek must have been doing overtime with the concept within this album, the second of a trilogy of albums, detailing the ‘Astronauts’ journey.
During my recent interview with Mitchell he describes the new album as "asking are we even here at all? Is it all a big dream we are part of? If we go to sleep do we wake up? What is our consciousness?" Heavy duty stuff but totally conceptual, totally prog, in which the main protagonist, the Astronaut, who represents mankind, awakes in a woodland surrounded by people wearing animal heads.
The whole album is a prog masterpiece with a huge atmospheric cinematic sound heavily influenced by Alan Silvestri and Clint Mansell as well as Mitchell’s love of sci-fi.
There is great keyboard playing throughout as well as fabulous extended guitar solos, all played by Mitchell. The animalistic energy in the drumming was provided by Craig Blundell and really drives the album. With just the two of them the resulting “band” sound is incredibly tight.
Having been teased with a brain curdling video for Evermore as well as the post-apocalyptic nightmare that is Sigma so we knew what was coming and we are not disappointed - every track is stunning in it’s own way. He even wonderfully references Phil Collins on The Devine Art Of Being.
The journey ends with Hello World Goodbye and Epilogue (Sea Beams) where once the astronaut has climbed back into his pod we hear the sound of the pod’s lid closing. It has a finality to it.
Where next for our Lonely Robot? “Such a curious thought” says Alan Watts, I guess we will have to wait another two years to receive the conclusion to this journey. In the meantime we have two wonderful Lonely Robot albums to entertain us.
Check out our interview with John Mitchell here:
Here is the video to Sigma from the album…