Tag Archives: ends and starts

156. ROBERT LANE’s debut album “Robert Lane”

(Image: R. Lane)

Last year I reviewed Brum-based singer/song-writer Robert Lane‘s excellent EP Ends And Starts (see my review #93). But I think it is also worth saying a few words about his eponymous debut album Robert Lane, which was released a couple of years ago now.

It is a thirteen track album; and typical of Rob’s work, it contains a variety of musical styles – something which I always warm to – various Pop, Rock, and Folky styles being represented; with Jazzy and Country vibes edging in at times too; showing broad and open-minded influences.

There are some really good songs in this collection; reminding me of such diverse luminaries as The Beatles; The Kinks; and The Jam at times; but generally Rob is a unique writer that you really need to listen to for yourself. These are well thought out tunes with good vocal melodies; interesting and well-crafted lyrics, sung beautifully clearly. There are some nice harmonised backing vocals too. I particularly liked ‘You Want It Both Ways’ and ‘Tomorrow’; but I must say they are all fine tracks in this collection.

Rob very ably handles all vocals and guitars + bass, keys and percussion at times too. He is also aided by various other good musicians as necessary. The album comes in a standard jewel case with a basic design, info, thanks, and credits etc. It is available from Rob’s website where you can sample his sounds.

He will be on tour in Germany and the UK throughout April; and in June with Kyshona Armstrong; as well as performing at the Withernsea Festival in August (Check his website). PTMQ

93. ROBERT LANE “Ends And Starts” (EP) (2016) A pre-release review.

Ends And Starts (Pic: Rob Lane)

Ends And Starts (Pic: Robert Lane)

Soon after Christmas I was contacted by Brum-based singer / songwriter Robert Lane. He told me he was working on an EP of songs due for release in March; and wondered if I’d be interested in reviewing it. Ever up for something new I said I’d have a listen. I must confess that at the time I knew nothing about him or his music; but I’m glad to say that has now been put right. He sent me a download, followed by a CD version.

Ends And Starts is a mini-album rather than an EP. It consists of seven original songs; all penned by Rob himself. I believe it is his second collection – the first being his debut album Robert Lane. (Which I haven’t heard). What struck me first about this new collection is the great variety of styles within it: Folk; Blues; Rock and Pop; and demonstrates the wide latitude of his influences. This means that Robert cannot be pigeon-holed very easily. (This appeals to me, of course, as I like a wide spectrum of music myself).

These are thoughtful melodic songs; well crafted; and, I believe, lyrically highly personal. He starts with the light rock song ‘My Love’s In Deep’. Its a good opener, with some fine guitar work and good vocals. The Folky ‘It Feels Like 5,000 Miles’ follows. It has very good acoustic finger-picking and some fine vocal harmonies. The third song is again completely different -‘Break My Heart Blues’. Its a typical up-beat Blues with a simple enough lyric, but enjoyable for all that; and again, has some very good acoustic guitar.

Next is the highly personal ‘Wilful Independent’ with its Giltrap-esque intro, and its brief and unexpected bridge. Then ‘Teardrop Tattoo’ sees Robert in the mind of a senseless killer. (I think I know the real-life case on which this song is based). It is effectively thought-provoking and a little disturbing. ‘Alone Now’ is reminiscent of an early ’60s Pop song. Nice arpeggios and lead guitar licks here; plus some heart-felt vocals. And finally the collection ends with the lovely instrumental ‘Mary’s Theme’ – a short but beautiful acoustic piece that I like very much.

At all times Robert’s vocals are clear; and his voice is good. He is responsible for all vocals; guitars and keyboards. And he is ably assisted by Matthew Pinfield on drums; bass and keyboards. The CD version comes in a standard Jewel Case with basic thanks and credits; and a simple but effective design.

I stuck the CD in my car and played it incessantly for a few days; singing along to every track – and that most certainly is the sign of a good album! If, like Robert and myself, you have an eclectic taste in music, then I recommend this EP. It will be available from Robert’s website shortly. PTMQ

Rob’s website…   http://www.robertlanemusic.co.uk