A Model Life
Label: InsideOut Music
Out: August 26th, 2022
Playing time: 07:23
Author: Erich Robbers (Rockcastle Franken)
Actually, John Mitchell wanted to end the Lonely Robot chapter after his Astronauts trilogy, which ended with the 2019 album “Under Stars”. But the record company and friends persuaded him to continue, the name had virtually established itself as a brand. This is how “Feelings Are Good” followed in 2020 and now, two years later, “A Model Life” is the fifth album by the guitarist, singer and composer. And John Mitchell maintains the proven recipe of catchy, highly melodic and atmospheric prog rock.
Of course, Lonely Robot always sounds a bit like the bands he’s in, such as Arena, Frost, It Bites or his other project Kino. But with Lonely Robot, his voice, which always sounds more like Peter Gabriel and yet has its own charm, is even more characteristic. You can hear that right from the opener “Recalibrating”, which starts playfully and with a happy guitar melody, but immediately scores points and impresses with Mitchell’s distinctive vocals. Alternating vocals between calm and intense characterise this atmospheric opening track.
Machine noises and somewhat darker vocals let “Digital God Machine” then become a beautiful spherical neo-progger with beats, but then also more harmonious and lighter, where John Mitchell also shows off his fantastic guitar melodies. And so it goes on and on with melancholic pieces (“Species In Transition”, “In Memoriam”) and alternating happier moments like “Duty Of Care” with a music box at the beginning and hard beats as well as elegiac guitar themes. As well as the title song “A Model Life”, which features both touching moments and cheerfully catchy parts.
The almost two-minute “Mandalay” is a completely calm, almost sad section with minor piano and backing keyboards, which is followed by rain and thunderstorms on “Rain Kings”. Smaller gimmicks, massive drums and beautiful spherical vocal interludes, where piano is also added, let the song grow into a fantastic prog piece. John Mitchell also uses computerised sounds and briefly distorted vocals on “The Island Of Misfit Toys”.
“A Model Life” is another great Lonely Robot album, which does not contain a concept like the earlier astronaut story, but still shines with well thought-out lyrics, but above all with the excellent music of John Mitchell. It’s simply fantastic when this man lashes out with highly melodic string playing and crowns it all with charmingly extravagant vocals. Simply great songs that you can listen to again and again and that never get boring, even if the quieter moments get the upper hand. There is simply no bad music in which Mr Mitchell is involved. As a friend of catchy, melodic prog rock, this is definitely a must-have.
Lonely Robot – Recalibrating (Official Visualiser): https://youtu.be/YvdqPJ0NVTk
John Mitchell – Vocals, Guitars, Production
- Digital God Machine
- Species In Transition
- Starlit Stardust
- The Island Of Misfit Toys
- A Model Life
- Rain Kings
- Duty Of Care
- In Memoriam