Robin Beck - Underneath (2013/HMMR Records/Cargo Records)
It’s been a busy last couple of years for soon to be 60 years old AOR legend Robin Beck. In 2011, the album The Great Escape was released to rave reviews and a big part of 2012 was spent on tour including an appearance at the Firefest festival in U.K. Fast forward to August 2013 and Robin is back with another brand new studio album called Underneath.
Being that The Great Escape was one of my favourite records of 2011, it shouldn’t really come as a surprise that Underneath is another strong offering, and a record that should appeal to most fans of quality melodic rock. With one foot in the past and another in the present, Beck has found a winning formula with a sound that manages to encompass her classic melodic rock past while still sounding fresh and relevant, largely due to an excellent production job (courtesy of her husband James Christian) and perhaps a few more modern influences in the songwriting. Beck is still a great
vocalist, as displayed throughout the 11 tracks on offer, and with the help from world class songwriters and musicians such as Glen Burtnik, Fiona and James Christian, I shouldn’t have to tell you that this really is a great sounding record in all aspects.
Highlights? Check out the keyboard/guitar interplay in You Can’t Fight Love, the melodic rock delight Perfect Storm or the moving and beautiful title track for a taste of 2013 AOR brilliance for starters! Elsewhere, Wrecking Ball and Catfight are both solid representations of her more modern style, but don’t let that put you off: this is catchy stuff.
In summary, if you are a fan of Robin Beck or just good female fronted melodic rock in general, Underneath comes highly recommended.
Bob Wheeler - s/t
Fury - s/t